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A Constructionist Approach to Computer Science

, University of Cagliari, Italy ; , The University of Melbourne, Australia

Global Learn, in Melbourne, Australia ISBN 978-1-880094-85-3 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)


The use of traditional introductory approaches to computer science needs to be re-evaluated in light of an increasingly technology-savvy cohort of students. New and powerful environments, such as Scratch from MIT and its descendents, provide an excellent base to develop novel approaches to learning computer programming based on constructionist learning theories. In this paper we describe a constructionist approach to introductory computer science that leverages on these new environments, motivating students to learn computer programming without the cognitive overhead usually associated with learning programming and computation. We then describe new tools we have developed that facilitate the extension of the constructionist approach to learning more complex concepts in computer science, bringing students to a deeper understanding of computer science concepts.


Federici, S. & Stern, L. (2011). A Constructionist Approach to Computer Science. In S. Barton, J. Hedberg & K. Suzuki (Eds.), Proceedings of Global Learn Asia Pacific 2011--Global Conference on Learning and Technology (pp. 1352-1361). Melbourne, Australia: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved November 16, 2019 from .