Logo and learning: does Logo training increase the use of formal operational thought?



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Texas Tech University


The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of Logo training on seventh grade students' use of formal operational thought as described by Piaget, on higher level thinking skills as described in Bloom's taxonomy, and on levels of creative thought as described by Torrance.

Logo is a computer programming language developed to help children develop higher level thinking skills. Supporters claim that its use may make abstract concepts more concrete for the learner, and thus allow the learner to advance to levels of formal thought. Much anecdotal evidence has been collected to support this claim, but little positive evidence has come from traditional experimental research.

This study followed a quasi-experimental pretest-posttest design because random assignment to treatment groups was impractical. The experimental subjects were 25 seventh graders identified as being the "best" sixth-grade computer students during the previous year. Students in the experimental group were enrolled in a one-semester class (approximately eighty-five 50 minute periods) devoted to Logo programming. Control subjects were 30 seventh graders at a different junior high, similarly identified, and who received no Logo instruction during the treatment period. Students in both groups had from one to three years prior computer instruction including some Logo.