Original Research

Increasing self-efficacy in learning to program: exploring the benefits of explicit instruction for problem solving

Irene Govender, Desmond W Govender, Marietjie Havenga, Elsa Mentz, Betty Breed, Frank Dignum, Virginia Dignum
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 10, No 1 | a19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v10i1.19 | © 2014 Irene Govender, Desmond W Govender, Marietjie Havenga, Elsa Mentz, Betty Breed, Frank Dignum, Virginia Dignum | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 February 2016 | Published: 30 July 2014

About the author(s)

Irene Govender, Discipline of Information Systems and Technology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Desmond W Govender, Discipline of Computer Science Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Marietjie Havenga, Faculty of Education Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Elsa Mentz, Faculty of Education Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom
Betty Breed, Faculty of Education Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Frank Dignum, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
Virginia Dignum, Delft University, Delft, Netherlands

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Abstract

The difficulty of learning to program has long been identified amongst novices. This study explored the benefits of teaching a problem solving strategy by comparing students’ perceptions and attitudes towards problem solving before and after the strategy was implemented in secondary schools. Based on self-efficacy theory, students’ problem solving self-efficacy as well as teachers’ self-efficacy were investigated, showing that both students’ and teachers’ self-efficacy may have benefited from the explicit instruction. This would imply that teaching problem solving explicitly should be encouraged to increase self-efficacy to program.

Keywords

Programming; problem solving; teaching and learning; self-efficacy

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