Computer Science Colloquium, 2006-2007

Michal Armoni
November 15th, 2006

On Computer Science Education: The Case of Reductive Thinking

Computer science education is a sub-field of mathematics and science education, which in turn is a sub-field of the discipline of education. Thus, the research of computer science education is based on methodologies of social science, as well as on understanding the special nature of computer science as a discipline that has something in common with mathematics, science and engineering, but also has unique characteristics of its own.

The research of computer science education focuses on two educational processes:

The teaching process:  What should we teach our students in order to better prepare them to be computer science graduates, and how should we teach it?

The learning process:  How do our students interpret and perceive what we teach them?

In this talk I will give a short survey of the current research in computer science education, and its possible effects on teaching computer science in universities.

I intend to focus on one aspect of my recent work: Teaching reductive thinking (joint work with Judith Gal-Ezer and Orit Hazzan). In this study we analyze the way computer science undergraduate students, at different stages of their studies, use reduction as a problem-solving strategy, in various contexts (various courses or areas), and their perception of reduction.

Benny Pinkas