Mental models of recursion revisited
I. Sanders, V. Galpin and T. Götschi
Proceedings of the 11th annual SIGCSE conference on Innovation
and Technology in Computer Science Education, Bologna, Italy,
26-28 June 2006. 138-142.
Students struggle to understand recursion and we need to find good
ways to teach the concept. We believe that an understanding of the
mental models of recursion that students develop will assist us in
teaching them more effectively. In 2003 we reported on a study of
the mental models our students developed. This paper discusses some
changes that we made to our teaching in 2003 after that study. An
analysis of the students' mental models in 2003, 2004 and 2005 shows
that more students are developing the copies model of recursion
which is always a viable model.
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