Collaboration in the Human Sciences

Mistakes of preschool children when programming with the programming environment ScratchJr

This study is concerned with investigating errors made by preschool children when solving problems with the programming environment ScratchJr. Although it seems that children are capable of programming, they make a number of mistakes that prevent them from fully developing their computational thinking. It has been studied in depth the implementation of problem solving activities of 24 preschool children. Three types of errors are recorded from the data analysis: Errors of manipulation, syntax errors and logical errors.  These types of mistakes are defined based on their characteristics and are attributed to specific difficulties concerning children, didactic intervention and the environment of Scratch Jr itself. Nevertheless, there is a limitation of this study. Due to the small specimen, we are not able to generalize the results, hence proposing a more extensive research. Consequently, we advocate the continuation of our collaboration with the participants, with the view to investigate further this subject. One more viable  idea could be the cooperation between teachers and universities from many different countries, based on the exchange of their views and experiences, thus creating appropriate educational interventions and scenarios that could help deal with children’s difficulties.


  • Helen Kolovou -
  • Marina Vasiliki Giannitsi -

2 thoughts on Mistakes of preschool children when programming with the programming environment ScratchJr

  • Hi Helen and Marina!
    I enjoyed learning a little bit about this study in your poster! I often wonder if we are trying to push young children too fast too soon in learning certain concepts, even if they can execute programs well or with few mistakes. What are the benefits of teaching children to code at age 5? Especially if they’re making many mistakes. Would that time be better spent learning through gross or fine motor play? Of course this study doesn’t go into these questions and I don’t expect you to answer them, but this is what popped up in my mind when reading about it! I definitely think computer play has its place and because the world is so technologically driven that children should be exposed to how computers work at an early age, but I just worry about computer time creeping in an slowly taking over physical play, especially at such an early age. Interesting topic!

  • Hello Cory!
    Thank you for your comment! That was exactly our aim; to had readers puzzle over as far as the usage of programming software in such early ages concerned. Of course, these learning softwares do not take the place of other pivotal learning subjects. On the contrary, they contribute to learning procedure. Apart from that, according to various of studies, by using such programs preschool children have the oportunity to acquire high and low level skills such as structured and critical thinking, which contribute to the development of computational thinking, something essential for their subsequent school and life trajectory. This particular study aimed at finding of children’s mistakes when programming with an educational software, ScratchJr, in order that teachers find it easier to organize appropriate educational interventions for more effective learning. Thank you for your time!

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