On the cognitive effects of learning computer programming

Abstract : This paper critically examines current thinking about whether learning computer programming promotes the development of general higher mental functions. We show how the available evidence, and the underlying assumptions about the process of learning to program, fail to address this issue adequately. Our analysis is based on a developmental cognitive science perspective on learning program, incorporating developmental and cognitive science considerations of the mental activities involved in programming. It highlights the importance for future research of investigating students' interactions with instructional and programming contexts, developmental transformations of their programming skills, and their background knowledge and reasoning abilities.
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Roy D. Pea, D. Midian Kurland. On the cognitive effects of learning computer programming. New Ideas in Psychology, Elsevier, 1984, 2(2), pp.137-168. ⟨hal-00190532⟩

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