M.Sc Thesis


M.Sc StudentMariana Teif
SubjectJunior High-School Students' Perceptions of Object Oriented
Basic Concepts
DepartmentDepartment of Education in Science and Technology
Supervisor Full Professors Hazzan Orit


Abstract

Object oriented (OO) design is one of the widespread approaches in the software engineering industry and, therefore, the OO paradigm is included in most computer science curricula all over the world. In order to stay in line with industry needs and requirements, more and more universities frequently update and adjust their Introduction to Computer Science syllabi.

Historically, teaching OO approach has been a challenging task for undergraduate educators. Both time constraints and necessity to teach a multitude of rather advanced concepts limit educators’ ability to devote much time to in-depth discussions of the very basic concepts, thus leaving untouched the very issue of whether students actually perceive and understand correctly the OO fundamentals such as object, class, attribute, and method. Potential solution to this problem might be to start teaching those basic concepts to younger students. This would make it much easier to both students and educators to cope with more advanced concepts during undergraduate OO instruction. This study aims to explore the potential such solution offers.

During the study, junior high school students’ comprehension of the basic OO concepts was assessed. Students’ major misconceptions were categorized into two main groups according to the concepts involved, namely attribute and class-object relation. As a result, potential origins of these misconceptions have been identified and explained using two methodologies, namely dual-system theory applied in cognitive psychology and theory of classification.