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Title: Creating a mathematical environment through programming : a study of young children learning Logo
Author: Noss, Richard.
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1985
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The aim of the study was to investigate the nature and extent of the mathematical environment created through young children (aged 8-11) 1 earni ng computer programmi ng us i ng the 1 anguage Logo. There were three aspects to the problem: 1. How do children in a 'natural' classroom learn to program in Logo, and in what ways does this activity constitute a mathematical env i ronment? 2. What effect does the programming experience have on children's understanding of selected geometrical concepts? 3. How may the 1 earni ng of Logo provide a conceptual basi s for the understanding of elementary algebraic ideas? Investigation of issue 1 was based on an analysis of the children's learning over an eighteen-month period. This consisted of three phases. The introductory and programning phases, which took place during the first year of the study, involved the participation of 118 children in five classes. Characteristic mathematical/ programning strategies of the children's early activities were proposed. and an analYSis of the acquisition and application of six key computational ideas was undertaken. A model of children's 'learning modes' was developed, and its applicability and limitations were determined. The final phase consisted of detailed case-studies over a six month period of four pairs of children who had participated in the first year of the study. Issue 2 was investigated by means of a pencil-and-paper test designed to probe the children's understanding of three categories of the concept of length, and three categories of the concept of angle. The test was administered to the Logo children at the end of the first year of the study, and to a set of classes deemed suitable to act as 2 control groups. The findings indicated positive effects in favour of the logo groups in five out of the six categories. Evidence of a differential effect in favour of the logo girls was also found. Investigation of issue 3 was undertaken by a series of solve-aloud rule formulation problems. administered to the eight case study children. Evidence was provided of a conceptual linkage between aspects of the children's Logo experience. and the concepts of a) algebraic variable. and b) elementary algebraic formalisation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Education & training