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Development of Computational Thinking in High School Students: A Case Study in Chile

by   Felipe González, et al.

Most efforts to incorporate computational thinking in K-12 education have been focused on students in their first cycles of school education and have used visual tools, such as Scratch and Alice. Fewer research projects have studied the development of computational thinking in students in their last years of school, who usually have not had early formal preparation to acquire these skills. This study provides evidence of the effectiveness of teaching programming in C++ (a low-level language) to develop computational thinking in high school students in Chile. By applying a test before and after a voluntary C ++ programming workshop, the results show a significant improvement in computational thinking at the end of the workshop. However, we also observed that there was a tendency to drop out of the workshop among students with lower levels of initial computational thinking. Tenth-grade students obtained lower final scores than eleventh and twelfth-grade students. These results indicate that teaching a low-level programming language is useful, but it has high entry-barriers.


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