During the decade of the 1980s, computers have become a part of schooling for millions of children, and instruction in programming has increasingly become a part of the curriculum. How can we teach children to use computers productively and what will be the effect on children of learning to program computers? These are the research questions addressed in Teaching and Learning Computer Programming: Multiple Research Perspectives.
Ten years ago there was an insufficient research base to answer these questions, but during the past decade researchers have begun to investigate novices' learning of computer programming. This book brings together some of the most productive researchers in the field and asks each to summarize what research says about teaching and learning computer programming. The result is a concise and current account of how instructional techniques affect student learning and how learning of programming affects students' cognitive skills.
In my role as editor, I asked each author to show how research answers two general questions: What kinds of instruction enable students to learn programming productively? What are the cognitive consequences of learning programming languages? In other words, I asked each author to address the two topics in this book's title -- teaching and learning. Similarly, as the subtitle indicates, I asked each author to examine these topics from his or her own research perspective and to provide integrative summaries of relevant research.
As an aid in preparing their chapters, authors exchanged ideas at a "Symposium on Research on Teaching and Learning Computer Programming" held in April of 1987 in Washington, DC. With the exception of one chapter which was reprinted in updated form from refereed sources, each chapter was subjected to peer review and an extensive editorial revision cycle. In the interests of readability, I instructed authors to present chapters in a common format, including