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Programmers: concrete women and abstract men?

McKenna, Peter (2001) Programmers: concrete women and abstract men? Journal of computer assisted learning, 17 (4). pp. 386-395. ISSN 0266-4909

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Abstract

Sherry Turkle and Seymour Papert have identified a hands-on and experimental 'concrete' approach to computer programming as feminine, and as a fully formed way of knowing how to program, rather than as either a learning style or as a stage in development. This paper differentiates between concrete styles of learning how to program, and the concrete style of programming. Learning strategy is decoupled from programming style, and the hypothesis that women are more likely than men to prefer a concrete style of programming is tested by means of examining responses to practical examples of concrete and abstract styles. The responses suggest that there is no significant difference between women and men in their attitude toward a concrete style of programming.

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