onsdag 8 augusti 2012

Schemas, Mental Models, Constructionalism and Phenomenography

Sometimes you come across a really good scientific text. So good that it feels like you were reading a novel and not specialist literature. In my opinion the ideal would be that every scientific paper and book would be written in this way but sadly the writing abilities of scientists seldom compare to those of writers of novels.

Juha Sorva, who I briefly mentioned earlier, comes close to the writing abilities of authors of novels. It´s a pleasure to read his doctoral thesis "Visual Program Simulation in Introductory Programming Education". He not only explains the concepts in the thesis in an easily understandable way, he also does it using a beatiful language and even a pinch of humour (e.g. when he depicts a fictious trial between the computing community, represented by  E.W. Dijkstra as prosecutor, and himself as the defendant).

And to clarify: I have not changed field to programming or even education, my interest in Sorva´s thesis lies in the theoretical chapters about schemas, mental models and constructionalism. These chapters were so well written that I also read about phenomenography, a new and interesting, acquintance to me that gave me a new perspective on learning.

If you are interested in Sorva´s thesis you can find it here.

(However, no one is perfect. Sorva are using figures that he doesn´t refer to at all in his text. A big no-no, I have been told.)

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