This paper examines two statements regarding computer science as a discipline and its theoretical basis. We shall demonstrate how those statements are questionable and in addition they tend to hide the real root-causes of some significant educational issues. Those statements are very popular in the scientific community and have noteworthy negative effect on the researchers who frequently double their efforts and get around the same problems for years. This work concludes with the claim that experts on computer science education (CSE) should be more attentive to the theoretical aspects of this discipline and should pay more attention to speculative proposals.


Theories on computing computer technology computer science education strategies of research 


  1. 1.
    Hopper, G.M.: The education of a computer. In: Proc. of the ACM National Meeting, pp. 243–249 (1952)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Valentine, D.W.: CS educational research: A meta-analysis of SIGCSE technical symposium proceedings. In: Proc. of the 35th SIGCSE Symposium, pp. 255–259 (2004)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Huggins, P.: Universities failing to provide adequate background DP. Computerworld 25, 3 (1970)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    AA. VV. - Shut down or restart? The way forward for computing in UK schools. The Royal Society Education Section (2012) Google Scholar
  5. 5.
  6. 6.
    Pears, A., Seidman, S., Malmi, L., Mannila, L., Adams, E., Bennedsen, J., Devlin, M., Paterson, J.: A Survey of Literature on the Teaching of Introductory Programming. In: Working Group Reports on ITCSE on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, pp. 204–223 (2007)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ghezzi, C., Mandrioli, D.: The challenges of software engineering education. In: Inverardi, P., Jazayeri, M. (eds.) ICSE 2005. LNCS, vol. 4309, pp. 115–127. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Connolly, R.: Criticizing and modernizing computing curriculum: The case of the web and the social issues courses. In: Proc. of the 17th Western Canadian Conference on Computing Education, pp. 52–56 (2012)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Dagienė, V.: Informatics education for new millennium learners. In: Kalaš, I., Mittermeir, R.T. (eds.) ISSEP 2011. LNCS, vol. 7013, pp. 9–20. Springer, Heidelberg (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    De Kereki, I.F.: Work in progress: Transversal competencies contributions to computer science 1 course. In: Proc. Frontiers in Education Conference, pp. S3G1–S3G3 (2011)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    ACM-IEEE Computing Curricula 2001 Joint Task Force on Computing Curricula (2001),
  12. 12.
    Goldweber, M., Impagliazzo, J., Clear, A.G., Davies, G., Flack, H., Myers, J.P., Rasala, R.: Historical perspectives on the computing curriculum. ACM SIGCUE Outlook, Special Issue 25(4), 94–111 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Tucker, A.B., Wegner, P.: Computer science and engineering: the discipline and its impact. In: Handbook of Computer Science and Engineering. CRC Press, Boca Raton (1996)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Enger, E., Smith, B.: Environmental Science, 12th edn. McGraw-Hill, New York (2009)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Elstgeest, J., Harlen, W.: Environmental Science in the Primary Curriculum. SAGE Publications Ltd., Thousands Oaks (1990)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Morton, D.L., Gabriel, J.: Electronics: The Life Story of a Technology. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore (2007)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Mc Shane, E.A., Trivedi, M., Shenai, K.: - An improved approach to application-specific power electronics education: Curriculum development. IEEE Transactions on Education 44(3), 282–288 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Laurillard, D.: Rethinking University Teaching: A Framework for the Effective Use of Educational Technology. Routledge, London (1993)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Abelson, H., Bruce, K., van Dam, A., Tucker, A., Wegner, P.: The first-course conundrum. Comm. of the ACM 38(6), 116–117 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Hatziapostolou, T., Kefalas, P., Sotiriadou, A.: Promoting computer science programmers to potential students: 10 myths for computer science. In: Proc. of the Informatics Education Europe III Conference, pp. 125–133 (2008)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Bruce, K.B.: Controversy on how to teach CS1: A discussion on the SIGCSE-members mailing list. SIGCSE Bulletin 36(4), 29–34 (2005)CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Hoare, C.A.R.: An axiomatic basis for computer programming. Comm. of the ACM 12(10), 576–580 (1969)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Hindley, J.R., Seldin, J.P.: Lambda-Calculus and Combinators: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Molková, L.: Theory and Practice of Relational Algebra: Transforming Relational Algebra to SQL. Lambert Academic Publishing, Saarbrücken (2012)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Gunter, C.A., Mitchell, J.C.: Theoretical Aspects of Object-Oriented Programming, Types, Semantics, and Language Design. MIT Press, Cambridge (1994)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Golshani, F., Panchanathan, S., Friesen, O.: A logical foundation for an information engineering curriculum. In: Proc. of 30th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, vol. 12, pp. T3E/8–T3E12 (2000)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Demeyer, S.: - Research methods in computer science. In: Proc. of the 27th IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance, p. 600 (2011)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Denning, P.J.: The science in computer science. Comm. of the ACM 56(5), 35–38 (2013)CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    In: Proc. of Workshop ‘The Difference that Makes a Difference’. Open University (2011), (accessed December 2013)
  30. 30.
    Lethbridge, T.C., Diaz-Herrera, J.D., LeBlanc, R.J., Thompson, J.B.: Improving software practice through education: challenges and future trends. In: Proc. of Future of Software Engineering Congress, pp. 12–28 (2007)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Denning, P.J., Wegner, P.: Introduction to what is computation. Computer J. 55(7), 803–804 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Floridi, L.: Philosophy and Computing: An Introduction. Routledge, London (1999)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Rocchi, P.: Logic of Analog and Digital Machines, 2nd edn. Nova Science Publishers, New York (2012)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Rocchi, P.: Lectures on CS taught to introduce students with different background. In: Proc. of the Informatics Education Europe III Conference, pp. 115–124 (2008)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paolo Rocchi
    • 1
  1. 1.IBM and LUISS UniversityRomaItaly

Personalised recommendations