By Isabella Corradini, Michael Lodi, Enrico Nardelli
Presented at SIGCSE 2018, February 21st-24th, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
The term "coding" is more and more used to talk about the diffusion of computer science in school. While computer scientists, computing professionals, and educators consider this term very close or even equivalent to "programming", media tend to use it to describe something new and different from the "old boring CS". We provide here the main results of a large-scale investigation among primary school teachers (N=972) exploring their viewpoint on coding and its relation to programming. We asked to describe what coding is for them: only 40% of the relevant answers used terms explicitly mentioning programming. An additional 19%, while not directly mentioning programming, made reference to an information processing agent executing instructions. An additional small subset of teachers, while considering coding different from programming, described such difference using "tolerable" characterizations. We also analyzed the (sometime conflicting) misconceptions of teachers trying to explain why coding and programming are different.
In Proceedings of the 49th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education