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Learners with visual impairments face particular challenges in learning to program, as many of the environments currently used in schools to introduce programming concepts are not easily accessible to them. Physical Programming languages have been suggested as a potential solution. The inherent tangibility of a physical language enables tactile explorations of code and its structure to be experienced, which suggests they might impact on the ways in which learners appropriate the practice of programming.

Alex's research explores how forms of expressing programming concepts are shaped both by the programming environment and by the embodied means through which students interact with it as they work on carefully crafted teaching activities. To interpret this process, Vygostky’s distinction between meaning and sense is employed, and teaching is envisaged as the supporting of students to build their own sense, necessarily unique and context-dependent, of the socially shared meanings of the concepts in question.

About the speaker 

Alex Hadwen-Bennett is a Teaching Fellow in Computer Science Education in the School of Education, Communication and Society at King’s College London. He previously taught Computing in secondary schools for nearly a decade and has written a number of published teaching resources. His current research interests focus on inclusive computing education and making in STEM education.


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At this event

Alex Hadwen-Bennett

Lecturer in Computing Education