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Modifying the metaphor in order to improve understanding of control languages—the little-person becomes a cast of actors

Whalley, Peter (2007). Modifying the metaphor in order to improve understanding of control languages—the little-person becomes a cast of actors. British Journal of Educational Technology, 38(4) pp. 715–726.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8535.2006.00642.x
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Abstract

The instructional metaphor is an important bridge to understanding, particularly when students are undertaking tasks that are conceptually difficult and outside their previous experience. It is suggested that the limitations of the implicit metaphor of the procedural control languages are the main cause of the problems experienced with delivering the control topic within the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) curriculum. These continue to dominate classroom practice despite Papert warning more than 25 years ago of the conceptual restrictions that they place on children’s thinking. It is also claimed that the procedural control languages do not provide an adequate representation of the underlying input–process–output model of control, and that this contributes to a systematic pattern of misunderstanding. Classroom trials of a graphic object-orientated language are related to a prior study made with the procedural control language Control Logo. The relatively more sophisticated mental models developed by students working with actor-lab are discussed in terms of the different underlying metaphors and the problem representation provided.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2006 The Author, 2006 British Educational Communications and Technology Agency, Journal compilation. Published by Blackwell Publishing.
ISSN: 0007-1013
Academic Unit/Department: Knowledge Media Institute
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Research in Computing (CRC)
Item ID: 28648
Depositing User: Kay Dave
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2011 16:27
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2012 09:25
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/28648
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