PPIG 2010 - 22nd Annual Workshop
The Construction of the Concept of Binary Search Algorithm
Sylvia da Rosa
Abstract: The general goal of this paper is to describe how Piaget’s theory-Genetic Epistemologycan contribute to computer science education research. Using, as an example, students’ understanding of the binary search algorithm, this paper illustrates how theoretical principles are applied to identify some obstacles that students face while solving an instance of that algorithm and to help students to surmount these obstacles. The methodology of research consists in conducting students interviews in which they are encouraged to express their solutions in natural language. The specific goal of the paper is to show how Piaget’s ideas are used as guidelines in the design of the interviews and in the analysis of the gathered information. Selected excerpts from students’ interviews are included.