Flannery, L. P., & Bers, M. U. (2013). Let’s dance the “robot hokey-pokey!” children’s programming approaches and achievement throughout early cognitive development. Journal of research on technology in education, 46(1), 81-101.


Type: Empirical

Purpose: The authors present a retrospective analysis of young children's programming performance. The aim is to relate programming approaches to what is already known about patterns in young children's cognition.

Findings: There is a range of developmentally appropriate goals within the Kindergarten age level, depending on whether children are pre-operational or concrete operational. In particular, children who are pre-operational are better suited to open-ended exploration, whereas children who are concrete operational enthusiastically respond to specific tasks.

Recommendations: CS activities for young children should include open-ended exploration. As children are ready, it may be appropriate for some to engage in specific tasks, such as matching commands to actions and sequencing instructions.


Sample Size: 29

Participant Type: Students

Notes: Children age 4.5 to 6.5. Kindergarteners made up 69% of the sample and the rest were pre-schoolers.