Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://etd.cput.ac.za/handle/20.500.11838/3318
Title: Programming languages, curriculum and computational thinking at a cognitive level of formal operations
Authors: Rothman, Wilhelm Coenraad 
Keywords: APOS theory;Cognitive Level of Formal Operations (CLFO);computational thinking;embodied cognition;Educational Design Research (EDR);Learner Management System (LMS);programming language
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Abstract: High school learners underperform at a cognitive level of formal operations when engaging in subjects such as Mathematics and Science. Computational thinking is concerned with abstract methodology supporting mathematical thinking. The problem statement of this research states that it is unclear how computational thinking can be enhanced among high school learners at a cognitive level of formal operations. This “wicked” problem was investigated by asking two research questions, namely: i) “What are the characteristics of an enhanced learner’s teaching and learning strategy that can empower learners to master computational thinking skills through APOS theory, infused by a programming language at high school level?” and ii) “How can computational thinking skills at a cognitive level of formal operations be promoted among high school learners through the teaching of a programming language aligned to Action Process Object Schema (APOS)?” The aim of this research was to explore and understand how a programming language, using APOS theory as lens, could promote computational thinking skills at a cognitive level of formal operations among high school learners. The study was conducted at a private high school in the Western Cape. The research methodology was based on an interpretivist research philosophy. The ontological underpinning of the study was subjective and the epistemological stance accepted opinions of learners through written, spoken and visual attributed meanings. The axiology of the researcher was that of a practising educator in programming, a teaching and learning expert and a certified Java-Greenfoot instructor through Oracle. Data were collected during lectures, observations, interviews and assignments. Using Greenfoot as a programming language, supported by Moodle as LMS, learners discovered programming through “worked examples”. Qualitative data analysis was done through data condensation, data display, and drawing and verification of conclusions using thematic analysis. Ethical considerations were enforced by the ethical standards of the university of study, maintaining a high level of confidentiality towards all subjects at all times. The research strategy was based on Educational Design Research (EDR) as a validation study through interventions. Findings show that computational thinking can be promoted among learners at a cognitive level of formal operations through Greenfoot programming language with APOS theory as lens.
Description: Thesis (DTech (Information Technology))--Cape Peninsula University of Technology, 2020
URI: http://etd.cput.ac.za/handle/20.500.11838/3318
Appears in Collections:Information Technology - Doctoral Degree

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