The use of informatics in education has provided many contributions to the understanding of teaching and learning processes. First, it made possible the distinction between instructionism, seen as transmission of information, and constructionism, as the process of knowledge construction that takes place when a learner produces a meaningful product through the use of computers.
Second, programming activity, especially with the Logo language, has helped to understand how knowledge is constructed in the learner-computer interaction. The article shows that this understanding has evolved over the course of the years. Initially the knowledge representation aspect was emphasized. Later the program development process began to be seen as a cycle of actions, description-execution-reflection-debugging-description. Finally, a spiral is shown to be the best model to represent the relation of these actions in the knowledge construction process.
The article explores the cycle and the spiral models to discuss the role of each of the actions and to explain how knowledge is constructed based upon several concepts used by Piaget and Papert, particularly reflection and debugging.