An Analysis of the Influence on Students’ Mathematics Skills Participating in the Bootstrap Programming Course
Abstract: Programming instruction and curriculum has the potential to positively influence student mathematic understanding and ability (NCTM, 2008, p. 52). This study outlines an innovative programming software and course, Bootstrap, and analyzes its influence on students’ mathematics skills. The primary basis of the analysis is based on a mathematics inventory assessent administered to junior high students pre and post participation in the Bootstrap course. Bootstrap is functional programming language (and curriculum) based on TeachScheme! developed by Matthias Felleisen at Rice University. Felleisen (2010) states that “the program (Bootstrap) currently works with students in some ten underserved neighborhoods across the U.S.” (p. 37). Felleisen asserts that the Bootstrap program “provides the strongest evidence yet that teaching functional programming directly affects the mathematics skills and interests of K-12 students” (p. 38).