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Teaching programming in Python in primary school

Darja Prevc (2015) Teaching programming in Python in primary school. Diploma thesis.

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    Abstract

    In this thesis, we present a set of lesson plans with tasks for teaching pupils how to program in Python using the turtle module. The first part discusses the problem of programming in primary schools: we note that programming presents only a small and optional fraction of the elective class about computing. Next we present programming language Python along with characteristics that make it suitable for teaching. We describe its installation and the development environment IDLE. Presentation of the turtle module, implemented in Python, which comes from the Logo programming language that was designed for learning to program, was emphasized. When being moved and turned, turtle draws a line. This drawing helps the pupils visualize what certain commands do. The second part of the thesis focuses on the explanation of basic programming concepts, such as conditional statements, loops and functions, which we introduce through tasks that need to be solved by using the turtle. The text in this part is written in a style that is closer to pupils, therefore we occasionally stray away from the standard terminology, e.g. by referring to functions as "statements". The first tasks deal with moving and turning the turtle. Then we introduce repeating a block of statements - a loop -, through tasks for drawing shapes in which a certain part is repeated multiple times. We continue with variables and definitions of functions. For preparing suitable tasks about conditional statements and the while loop, we introduce functions for communication with user and computation of random numbers. Each set of the tasks is followed by help or tips, which help the pupils solve these tasks, as well as the solution.

    Item Type: Thesis (Diploma thesis)
    Keywords: programming in primary schools, programming language Python, turtle module, class activities
    Number of Pages: 47
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Janez DemšarMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=10715977)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 3073
    Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2015 10:14
    Last Modified: 23 Sep 2015 10:14
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/3073

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