Research results: Where does Coding to Learn Belong in the K-12 Curriculum?
I’m not a big fan of the method in this paper — too little was controlled (e.g., what was being taught? how?). But I applaud the question. Where are things working and where are they not working when using coding to help students learn something beyond coding? We need more work that looks critically at the role of introducing computing in schools.
Nevertheless, there is a lack of empirical studies that investigate how learning to program at an early age affects other school subjects. In this regard, this paper compares three quasi-experimental research designs conducted in three different schools (n=129 students from 2nd and 6th grade), in order to assess the impact of introducing programming with Scratch at different stages and in several subjects. While both 6th grade experimental groups working with coding activities showed a statistically significant improvement in terms of academic performance, this was not the case in the 2nd grade classroom.