Leveraging the Pied Piper effect -The case of teaching programming to sixth-grade students via music
Volume 22, Issue 1 (2023), pp. 45–69
Pub. online: 15 March 2023 Type: Article Open Access
15 March 2023
15 March 2023
This paper describes a pilot study that explores students learning how to program via a multi-disciplinary approach. The study participants were eleven 6th grade students who learned programming fundamentals via music activities in a Scratch 3.0 environment. These activities included the programming of familiar melodies and the development of suitable animations or computer games. For that matter, a study unit termed MelodyCode was developed in the spirit of the STEAM education approach and the spiral learning method and included exploration tasks based on individual learning. Via the programming of familiar melodies, they became acquainted with programming concepts such as functions, variables, repetition and control commands, parallel processes, and more. Competitions that win awards were held from time to time, which prompted students to invest efforts in their projects to reach first place and gain the teacher and classmates' appreciation. The study was conducted in the form of action research. The data analysis yielded references to the effect of MelodyCode on common stereotypes students hold regarding programming (masculine profession, necessitates good mathematics knowledge), cognitive aspects (cognitive load, linking music concrete use to abstract programming concepts), and affective aspects (joyful and relaxing class atmosphere, motivation, curiosity, self-efficacy).