The Effects of Computer Programming on Performance in Mathematics.
The purpose was to investigate the effects of computer programming on performance in mathematics. The LOGO programming language was taught to 18 fifth graders. A pretest-posttest design was employed to determine whether the mathematical concept of variable could be learned through computer programming; a non-computer group of 20 fifth graders was used as a control group. Results indicated that the notion of variable could be learned through computer programming. In addition, three instructional methods for teaching programming were studied. The methods--algorithm-given, incomplete-complete program, no information given--were considered in terms of performance in writing programs. Findings showed that although instructional method may facilitate the learning of programming, there were no significant differences in the criterion situation. Results also showed that there was no effect due to ability (Stanford Achievement Test scores) in the criterion situation. Observation results indicated that the students developed certain problem-solving behaviors and that programming is an effective learning resource in terms of affective considerations. (Author/DT)