Content and process concepts relevant to computer science education: A cross-cultural study

2012 IJRSC – Volume 1 Issue 2


Zendler, Andreas*
University of Education Ludwigsburg, Germany (

McClung, O. William
Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA (

Klaudt, Dieter
University of Education Ludwigsburg, Germany (


The development of a K–12 computer science curriculum based on constructivist principles needs to be informed by knowledge of content and process concepts that are central to the discipline of computer science. These central concepts play an important role in multiple domains of computer science, can be taught on every intellectual level, will be relevant on the long term, and are related to everyday language and/or thinking. Two empirically based catalogues of central concepts of information science (content and process concepts) have recently been developed and validated for the German context. Examples of central content concepts are problem, model, and algorithm; examples of central process concepts are analyzing, categorizing, and classifying. Taking a cross-cultural approach, this study compares the combinations of content and process concepts identified as important in Germany with those considered relevant in the US context. Results show that (1) the combinations identified in Germany can be generalized to the US context, (2) other combinations can be identified in the US context that are also important in the German context, and (3) the combinations of content and process concepts identified in the two contexts can be integrated to generate a broader perspective that is valid for both contexts.

Keywords: computer science education; cross-cultural research; central content concepts; central process concepts



*Corresponding Author