Teaching Programming in Secondary Schools: Stepping and Stumbling Stones

Majid Rouhani, Veronica Farshchian, Monica Divitini

pp. pp. 48 - 68, download






Programming is introduced in secondary education in a growing number of subjects. This results in an increasing number of teachers teaching programming in their classes, often without proper training. Learning programming might be complicated, even more so is teaching it. In this context, there is a need to understand teachers’ perspectives on teaching programming. This paper aims to identify challenges that teachers in secondary schools face and might negatively impact their teaching, i.e., stumbling stones, as well as elements that promote teaching and give motivation, i.e., stepping stones. The paper is based on the analysis of reflection notes delivered by in-service teachers attending a university-level course on teaching programming. The teachers compile the reflection notes after they complete their final project. Projects are centred around the definition of teaching plans to be tried out in class. The reflection notes of 173 students are analysed to identify issues related to: programming; teaching programming; recurrent didactic issues; and external challenges. The analysis is then summarised in a set of stumbling and stepping stones. For example, time is identified as one of the main stumbling stones by teachers. On the other side, motivation is one of the central stepping stones that we can identify in the data, often connected to the excitement of teaching something that was not previously taught in schools or that teachers perceive as highly relevant for society and the future job market. Implications for teacher training are also identified. 



Keywords: Computing Education, Secondary education, In-service teachers, Challenges of teaching programming



back to Table of Contents