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Appears in:
Pages: 3889-3892
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain

CHARACTERISTICS OF PROGRAMMING EDUCATION IN ELEMENTARY, JUNIOR HIGH AND HIGH SCHOOLS IN JAPAN

Y. Ohashi

Nippon Institute of Technology (JAPAN)
In Japan many schools, from elementary to high schools, have adapted computer programming in various situations in education. Educating pupils/students programming languages is often called programming kyoiku (programming education). Various programming languages are used for various purposes in programming education. In this article the author investigated two research questions, such as:
(1) what kind of programming languages are used in each type of educational institution (elementary school, junior high school, and high school)
(2) what kind of tendency can be found.

Articles related to programming education in each institution were collected with the use of National Institute of Information database (http://ci.nii.ac.jp). Three combinations of keywords “programming” plus each educational institution’s name (“elementary school”, “junior high school”, and “high school”) were used. In total 302 articles, which included article title, abstract, keywords, published year, and sometimes body text, were collected, of which 202 were conclusively analyzed (51 were related to elementary school, 102 were junior high school, and 59 were high school). Programming languages used in each article were extracted, judged from its title, abstract, or body text. From the extracted data the author analyzed the trends in the three groups.

The analysis showed that the top three languages used in elementary school were Squeak (11 cases), Logo (9), and LEGO Mindstorms (3). In total 18 types of programming language were used. Programming education has been implemented to some extent for some decades in elementary schools in Japan despite it is not mandatory subject or course. Programming education in elementary schools can be characterized by preference of using visual languages and Japanese language. Since the early 2000s the mainstream of the programming education in elementary schools seemed to change from Logo to Squeak.

The top three languages used in junior high school were Logo (16 cases), BASIC (11), and Dolittle (8). In total 20 types of programming language were used. Many cases were related to development and/or control of a robot in junior high schools, while drawing two-dimensional diagrams was popular in elementary schools.

The top three languages used in high school were LEGO Mindstorms (6 cases), Dolittle (5), and Java (3) and C Language (3). In total 25 types of programming language were used. In high schools preference of using visual languages and Japanese language does not seem to be matters of weight. While visual languages and drawing two-dimensional diagrams were still popular, professional languages and advanced level of programming, such as object-oriented approach systems development, data abstraction, and mathematical schemes, were preferred in some situations.

Overall trend found in the analysis was that there is a tendency that operating physical objects, such as robots and cars, has becoming more popular. This could be explained by price decline of hardware (PCs, microcontrollers, sensors, and etc) and diffusion of free software and user-friendly development environment, which supports design and development of physical objects. A problem is, however, that there is no perfect curriculum coordination through schools at all three levels in terms of programming education.
The final version of the paper will include more detailed data with visual diagrams and in-depth analysis.
@InProceedings{OHASHI2014CHA,
author = {Ohashi, Y.},
title = {CHARACTERISTICS OF PROGRAMMING EDUCATION IN ELEMENTARY, JUNIOR HIGH AND HIGH SCHOOLS IN JAPAN},
series = {8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-8412-0},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {10-12 March, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {3889-3892}}
TY - CONF
AU - Y. Ohashi
TI - CHARACTERISTICS OF PROGRAMMING EDUCATION IN ELEMENTARY, JUNIOR HIGH AND HIGH SCHOOLS IN JAPAN
SN - 978-84-616-8412-0/2340-1079
PY - 2014
Y1 - 10-12 March, 2014
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2014 Proceedings
SP - 3889
EP - 3892
ER -
Y. Ohashi (2014) CHARACTERISTICS OF PROGRAMMING EDUCATION IN ELEMENTARY, JUNIOR HIGH AND HIGH SCHOOLS IN JAPAN, INTED2014 Proceedings, pp. 3889-3892.
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