Kogan Natalya
Amutat “Impuls”, Beer-Sheva, Israel

Psychology Aspects of Information science training

The increasing quantity of information, variety of forms and ways of getting information have converted information science from an exotic innovation to an obligatory and necessary subject of school education executing quite definite functions. Certainly the contents of information science as well as contents of other school subjects has its own specificity that defines the set of methodical ways. The goal of this report is the explanation of some psychological aspects linked with teaching, information science.

In the first place we have to remark that information science is a science about ways of collection, conservation and processing of information. But lately this term is used in a more limited sense: it means information for the computer user. It is because just the computer is has come to be the main toll to process information nowadays. Here we use this term in limited sense.

Information occupies science a unique place in the general system of school education because it is the only subject which has not got any time distance between the last elaboration and its study at the classroom. Windows-95 was studied in 1995, Windows-98 – in 1998, and Windows-2000 – in 2000. Thus information science is a unique subject learned under real time conditions is Moreover the teacher has to introduce new material lacking in officially established program. Thus information science is the most dynamic subject of the school course.

Every school subject may be considered as some specific symbol system adapted to the description of a certain class of facts and tasks. And information science is not an exception. From psychological viewpoint the transition to new semiotic system always is a zone of increasing psychological stress. We name it semiotic deprivation (new symbol system repudiation). In principle everyone has some feeling of the semiotic deprivation during a training process. The range of this phenomenon is rather wide (from slight psychological discomfort perception to hard neurosis). We observe appearing semiotic deprivation in pupils very often as a harsh and unreasonable repudiating to learn some subject (in harsh formulation “I hate informatics, mathematics etc.”). The result of semiotic deprivation is stable psychological syndrome of phobia kind. For example in the case of information science it most often is a computer or new software phobia. To decrease negative aftereffects of such semiotic deprivation in education early and super-early propedeutics causing the imprinting effect should be used. However difficulty for informatics was caused by unusual mobility. But how may propedeutics be realized for what is not discovered created and realized? To answer this question one should single out the invariant of information science. What is constant in permanently changing world of computers? Obviously a certain software must be trained but it is unpromising because computer will change principally in 10-15 years which separate today’s fifth-year pupil from his independent activities. Even most contemporary program languages will grow old. Only algorithmic thinking will always be a mast for the programmer and high level user therefore it will have to become the subject of early propedeutics.

The algorithmics as the school subject was introduced to teaching program of 4-5 classes in “Impuls” school according to our considerations. Although algorithmics was taught as a part of “Computers” course in higher classes, and elaboration of algorithmics training for 4-5 classes is not enough we believe that the approbation of this course is very promising. To this end we apply a block-scheme language as training language. It allowed us to spear about complex problems in an accessible way to our children. We worked out a method guide on basing on our experiment.