- Prof. Michal Armoni
- Chen Cohen
This project explored teaching the idea of recursion to 5th- and 6th-grade students in a non-programming context, by means of concrete visual aids.
Recursion is a fundamental idea of computer science, strongly connected to two other fundamental ideas of computer science: abstraction and reversing. Research shows that students often exhibit substantial difficulties in understanding recursion; these difficulties are rooted, among other things, in the critical role of the “black box” concept in understanding reduction, and in the inherent pseudo-cyclic nature of recursion. This research examined an approach for exposing young students (grades 5-6) to the idea of recursion. In accordance with Bruner’s spiral teaching framework, this was done in a way that corresponds to their age – that is, their level of cognitive development.
To this end, recursion was taught as a general idea, in a non-algorithmic context. Teaching and learning in this fashion employed concrete teaching aids of various kinds, corresponding to different stages of cognitive ability. The non-algorithmic context enabled to bypass the cyclic nature of recursion.
This is the Master research of Chen Cohen.