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Durham e-Theses
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An investigation into the feasibility of introducing computer based control into the early years of secondary education

Pallister, John Burdon (1988) An investigation into the feasibility of introducing computer based control into the early years of secondary education. Masters thesis, Durham University.



In our everyday lives we are surrounded by control systems. Computer based control systems are becoming increasingly important. The hardware currently exists in the majority of schools which would enable pupils to participate in computer based control. Primary schools are beginning to recognise the potential of computer based control. However, control does not generally feature in the first or second year curriculum in secondary schools, which only tend to provide experience of it to fourth and fifth form pupils as part of their examination courses. This research attempts to establish whether computer based control is a suitable activity for first and second year pupils. It draws from the experience of many curriculum areas and argues that the activities associated with computer based control are consistent with the previous experience of pupils; that pupils would be motivated by the activities and that they would develop procedural understanding. The thesis describes? a survey into ownership and use of construction kits; a twelve week course in computer based control; the resources which were developed to support the course; and the trials of the course. The research suggests that computer based control can provide suitable activities for twelve and thirteen year old pupils. It identifies a number of problems which seem to indicate that when modelling pupils tend to operate at an aesthetic rather than functional level, and that the difficulty which pupils encounter with a task is a function of the number of 'steps' involved in the task.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1988
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Feb 2013 13:46

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