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Students’ interest in Scratch coding in lower secondary mathematics

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The ability to code computer programs is considered an important part of literacy in today’s society. This paper reports from a case study in two sixth-grade classes where Scratch coding was part of six mathematics lessons. The aim of the study was to investigate how Scratch coding affected students’ interest development in coding and in mathematics. Data were collected using a convergent parallel mixed methods design. The results show a slight, but nevertheless significant, negative effect on students’ average interest in coding, as well as in mathematics. Students attributed this to the level of difficulty and the tedious workflow, indicating that their waning interest was due to the prescriptive nature of tasks that offered neither a sense of accomplishment nor the chance for autonomous input. However, situational interest was triggered in off-task coding situations. These situations were not related to the mathematical coding tasks but to the use of existing Scratch games and animations. The findings point to the importance of design principles that allow students an opportunity to tinker, but also to a need for an increased focus on facilitating the development of design knowledge within teacher professional development.

TidsskriftBritish Journal of Educational Technology
Sider (fra-til)71-83
Antal sider13
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2020

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