Code to Learn: Where Does It Belong in the K-12 Curriculum?

Jesús Moreno León, Gregorio Robles, Marcos Román-González
Journal of Information Technology Education: Research  •  Volume 15  •  2016  •  pp. 283-303
The introduction of computer programming in K-12 has become mainstream in the last years, as countries around the world are making coding part of their curriculum. Nevertheless, there is a lack of empirical studies that investigate how learning to program at an early age affects other school subjects. In this regard, this paper compares three quasi-experimental research designs conducted in three different schools (n=129 students from 2nd and 6th grade), in order to assess the impact of introducing programming with Scratch at different stages and in several subjects. While both 6th grade experimental groups working with coding activities showed a statistically significant improvement in terms of academic performance, this was not the case in the 2nd grade classroom. Notable disparity was also found regarding the subject in which the programming activities were included, as in social studies the effect size was double that in mathematics.
elementary education, improving classroom teaching, interdisciplinary projects, pro-gramming and programming languages, teaching/learning strategies, computer education, Scratch
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