The paper explores the beliefs of today’s programming teachers from the following research question: What beliefs do programming teachers express regarding teaching and learning computer programming in upper secondary school? To answer that question four seminars were offered focusing on upper secondary programming education. At each seminar, a questionnaire designed to elicit teachers’ beliefs about aspects of importance for their instructional design and students learning was given to the teachers/informants.
The analysis showed four themes in relation to teachers’ beliefs about learning and teaching: 1. Students’ individual connective time, 2. Teachers’ pedagogy, 3. Students’ abilities, 4. Students’ interest and motivation.
The assessment process is crucial to teachers’ choice of instruction strategies. This is particularly valid in the beginners’ course, where collaboration among students (peer-learning) is often practiced, and where skills essential to working in groups are commonly considered not to be important. In conclusion it could be said that two distinctive instructional patterns exist among teachers; individual support, and instruction for experience of learning.
A majority of the teachers in the study express a number of expectations concerning their students’ abilities; specific abilities such as logical and analytical thinking are emphasized as important for successful learning, while the ability to work in a group and to communicate is perceived as beneficial but not of any concern during the assessment process. The paper raises the question of whether teachers perceive abilities as fixed and inborn (naïve belief) or something that students could acquire with some effort (sophisticated belief). Findings suggest that a majority of the teachers hold a naïve belief. Findings also show that the teachers in the study focus on the individual, constructivist based learning which indicate that the teachers in the study commonly hold on to relativistic world-views. The concept of pedagogy were also discovered significant as many teachers question the importance of their pedagogy for students' learning.
Sense Publishers, 2013. 285-309 p.
Updated from accepted to published. QC 20150227