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OLYMPIADS IN INFORMATICS, 2012, Vol. 6, 3-20
© Institute of Mathematics and Informatics,

ISSN 1822-7732

The Role of Contests in Changing Informatics Education: A Local View

Giorgio AUDRITO, G. Barbara DEMO, Elio GIOVANNETTI

Dipartimento di Matematica, Università di Torino via Carlo Alberto, 10-10123 Torino, Italy Dipartimento di Informatica, Università di Torino corso Svizzera, 185-10149, Torino, Italy E-mail: giorgio.audrito@gmail.com, {barbara, elio}@di.unito.it

Abstract

Changing the teaching of informatics in secondary (and primary) education is in many countries difficult to achieve, owing to several reasons: the natural tendency of institutions and people to stick to well-established practices, a distorted view of informatics prevailing in society and among those who take the decisions, the specific fact that in several school systems the teaching of informatics is largely committed to teachers of other scientific disciplines. We describe the Italian situation and our experience in Turin where we have organised training stages for the Olympiad in Informatics and supported the organisation of other informatics contests. On its basis we argue how the different kinds of competition can help to change informatics education in Italy, by making problem solving and programming play a central role.

Keywords:

competitions, problem solving, programming in education, data structures, algorithms, programming techniques


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