The Dimensions of Variation in the Teaching of Data Structures

Association for Computing Machinery
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
SIGCSE Bulletin: Inroads ITiCSE 2004 Proceedings, Vol 36 #3 Sept 2004, 2004, pp. 92 - 96
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
Files in This Item:
Filename Description Size
Thumbnail2004000902.pdf508.48 kB
Adobe PDF
The current debate about the teaching of data structures is hampered because, as a community, we usually debate specifics about data structure implementations and libraries, when the real level of disagreement remains implicit -- the intent behind our teaching. This paper presents a phenomenographic study of the intent of CS educators for teaching data structures in CS2. Based on interviews with Computer Science educators and analysis of CS literature, we identified five categories of intent: developing transferable thinking, improving students' programming skills, knowing "what's under the hood", knowledge of software libraries, and component thinking. The CS community needs to first debate at the level of these categories before moving to more specific issues. This study also serves as an example of how phenomenographic analysis can be used to inform debate on syllabus design in general.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: