Fessakis, G., Gouli, E., & Mavroudi, E. (2013). Problem solving by 5–6 years old kindergarten children in a computer programming environment: A case study. Computers & Education, 63, 87-97.


Type: Empirical

Purpose: The overall purpose of the study was to investigate the integration of 2 types of Logo-based programming environments (i.e., Ladybug Leaf and Ladybug Maze) for children in kindergarten. Additionally, examining the difficulties, interactions and behaviors of the children while working on problem solving learning activities. The difficulties the teacher faced with implementing this type of activity was also explored.

Findings: 1. Five out of 10 children successfully completed all the levels without any assistance. Three of the ten children completed the activities with only one hint or suggestion from classmates. Two children were not able to successfully solve the problem despite hints and suggestions. 2, Three themes emerged from the difficulties the children encountered in this software environments: (1) familiarization with software, (2) angle and turn symbols, (3) orientation directions 3. At the completion of all activities, the children were asking to do more. This suggests the programming environments were engaging to the children. 4. The children used two methods to approach a problem: planning and trial and error 5. There were five different interaction types that emerged from these activities. The five types were: competition, interference about instructions, collaboration, moral support, and dialogue development. 6. Teacher interview revealed that this type of activity strengthened collaboration and incorporated active participation

Recommendations: The authors suggest that future studies should examine different teaching and learning types as well as different session types. A study of discourse analysis of the children engaged in computer programming to document learning should be explored.


Sample Size: 10

Participant Type: Kindergarten children with 6 boys and 4 girls. The age range of the children was 5 years 0 months to 5 years 11 months.

Notes: Ethnicity of the children was not specified.