Maloney, J. H., Peppler, K., Kafai, Y., Resnick, M., & Rusk, N. (2008). Programming by choice: urban youth learning programming with scratch (Vol. 40, No. 1, pp. 367-371). ACM.


Type: Empirical

Purpose: "This paper describes Scratch, a visual, block-based programming language designed to facilitate media manipulation for novice programmers. We report on the Scratch programming experiences of urban youth ages 8-18 at a Computer Clubhouse—an after school center—over an 18-month period" (367).

Findings: "Our analyses of 536 Scratch projects collected during this time documents the learning of key programming concepts even in the absence of instructional interventions or experienced mentors" (p. 367). "Our findings show a sustained engagement with programming among urban youth at a Computer Clubhouse. We found that, on their own, Clubhouse youth discovered and used commands demonstrating the concepts of user interaction, loops, conditionals, and communication and synchronization. The use of less easily discovered concepts such as variables, Boolean logic, and random numbers was less common but increased over time. These findings are especially surprising given the lack of formal instruction and the fact that the mentors had no prior programming experience" (p. 370).



Sample Size: 536

Participant Type: Youth, 8-18 years of age.

Notes: "We introduced Scratch in January 2005 to a Computer Clubhouse located at a storefront location in South Central Los Angeles. The Clubhouse serves African American and Latino youth ages 8-18 from one of the city’s most impoverished areas. Youth become members of the Computer Clubhouse at no cost to them or their families and gather in the after-school hours to engage in a variety of gaming and design activities..." (p. 368). Sample size refers to 536 projects collected from these students.