To code or not to code: Introducing coding in primary schools

Publication Name

Computer Applications in Engineering Education


Learning to code helps children to develop an understanding of how things work. It also contributes to the development of problem-solving skills. In this paper, we present a methodological framework with four cycles that alternate between cooperative and individual learning approaches in addition to game-based and project-based learning. The presented framework is suitable for deployment in primary schools, regardless of the digital competencies and programming skills of the teachers. The framework was evaluated focusing on the approach (collaborative or competitive) that is more suitable for the first cycle in the multi-cycle scenario for learning to code from a demographic perspective (gender and urbanization), the relevancy of Bloom's taxonomy, and the achieved learning experience. Initial results confirm that this approach encourages the students to use the proposed tools for finding the solution, raising their interest and motivation for learning to code. The teachers who participated in the pilot study were satisfied with the proposed approach, both in terms of achieved learning outcomes and the level of training needed to obtain necessary teaching competencies.

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