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Title: Material Anchors for Young Children’s Spatial Planning: Contextualizing Path-Program Relationships
Authors: Silvis, Deborah
Clarke-Midura, Jody
Shumway, Jessica
Lee, Victor R.
Keywords: Learning Sciences
Issue Date: 2023
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences
Citation: Silvis, D., Clarke-Midura, J., Shumway, J., & Lee, V. R. (2023). Material anchors for young children’s spatial planning: Contextualizing path-program relationships. In Blikstein, P., Van Aalst, J., Kizito, R., & Brennan, K. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 17th International Conference of the Learning Sciences - ICLS 2023 (pp. 1210-1213). International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Abstract: Planning a path from an origin to a destination is a common task for studying children’s spatial thinking and a foundational part of many early programming environments. This paper examines children’s means of abstraction between the grid space and the program domain through an exploration of the strategies they used to plan a robot’s routes in 2-D space. Qualitative analysis focused on ways children used materials to aid in spatial planning and programming, advancing previous work on material anchors for concepts (Hutchins, 2005). Through an elaboration of several path planning strategies, we illustrate how children varied in their use of materials in space to represent a path-program relationship. We argue that these strategies represent multiple ways of contextualizing and abstracting in a programming task, with implications for design of equitable CT assessments in early childhood.
Description: Short Paper
Appears in Collections:ISLS Annual Meeting 2023

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