CCSE Reading group: SIGCSE Journal Club - Why Minimal Guidance During Instruction Does Not Work
Issued: Mon, 02 Nov 2020 11:25:00 GMT
When I first read this paper, it gave me a strong jolt as I realised that our principal pedagogical activity in an introductory programming class is based on minimal-guidance - we introduce very little, use few worked examples if any, and then say “go and solve these problems”. Hence, I find the arguments quite compelling.
However, when I ask other computer scientists to read this paper, I have often found they disagree strongly with it. Who is right, I wonder? One aspect I find is that my fellow readers often assume the authors’ views apply to **all** instruction. However, somewhat hidden, which is a shame, on the second column of P80, the authors refer to the expertise-reversal effect - and the indication that direct instruction is best for novices but that as one moves towards intermediate/expert, then minimal guidance becomes the best learning strategy - and this is explained with further reference to learning and the cognitive architecture which is the backbone of the paper.
We do know that many who self-select to study computer science fail to become good programmers. Many drop out completely at an early stage; and many others remain in the programme, but try to avoid programming. Somehow, they just don’t get it. What has failed them?
Looking forward to the discussion on Monday…