Dancing the "Robot Hokey-Pokey": Cognitive Developmental Level as a Predictor of Programming Achievement.
Abstract: Distinctive within the extensive ecosystem of children's
technologies available today are those for constructing and exploring digital objects - for
instance by building robots and programming their behaviors. Such technologies have gained
popularity as they can be both entertaining and enriching, especially when designed and
used according to cognitive developmental and construction... read moreist learning principles. The
TangibleK Robotics Project has conducted three years of developmentally driven research on
technology designs and learning expectations for CHERP, a robotics programming tool for
kindergarteners. This thesis examines preschoolers' and kindergarteners' problem-solving
and reasoning during a programming task as a function of their cognitive developmental
level. Results show that while children in late pre-operations engage in meaningful
programming explorations, their work differs qualitatively from that of older children
transitioning into or already in early concrete operations. The findings inform discussion
of developmentally differentiated learning expectations and issues to consider in future
Thesis (M.A.)--Tufts University, 2011.
Submitted to the Dept. of Child Development.
Advisor: Marina Bers.
Committee: David Henry Feldman, and Bakhtiar Mikhak.
Keywords: Developmental psychology, Computer science, and Early childhood education.read less