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Evaluating Scratch to introduce younger schoolchildren to programming

Findings from a study on using Scratch in the Class presented at Psychology of Programming Interest Group 2010 Workshop.

In this initial study, we used Scratch to teach some elementary programming to young children (eight years old) in their ICT class, for eight lessons in all.  This paper presents the findings from this study presented at the Psychology of Programming Interest Group 2010 Workshop.

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Amitai Gat

Mitch, Amanda,

My experience as a Scratch instructor, shows similar results to what you've mentioned Mitch.

In one case, one of my weakest students, a 4th grader, was doing so well in Scratch, that she was helping one of the best students in class.

When such thing happen, promoting the student's effort, promote intrinsic motivation and build up self esteem and confidence such students usually lack because of failure in other classes.

I am glad to see, that this phenomenon is universal, perhaps Amanda, we should conduct a research together to try and identify what are the features that Scratch offer that helps weak student  excel?

For ordinary students, I sense the answer is what I call crossing the "boredom line", they progress quite fast and an instructor of 15 students you sometime have a problem reaching all the different students at the same time.


Amitai Gat

Mitch Resnick

I found it interesting that “Scratch lessons were able to reach some of the pupils who are known to have difficulty with other classes" while "ordinarily stronger pupils did uncharacteristically poorly"

Ai Boon Tan

Dear Amanda,

Hi there. Thanks for sharing. I found the article very useful. Would you mind if I used your method and modify it for my lesson plans?

Best regards,

Ai Boon