A4 Article in conference proceedings

The Role of Implicit Theories in Computer Science and Engineering Studies: First Findings and Review

List of Authors: Mikko-Ville Apiola, Mikko-Jussi Laakso

Conference name: Frontiers In Education Conference

Publication year: 2020

Journal: Frontiers in Education Conference

Book title *: 2019 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE)

ISBN: 978-1-7281-1747-8

eISBN: 978-1-7281-1746-1

ISSN: 1539-4565

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/FIE43999.2019.9028420

URL: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/9028420


This Full Paper in the Research-category presents our initial findings in regards of students’ implicit theories. Beliefs that people associate to themselves, often called implicit theories, self-theories, or mindsets, are a fundamental source of bias in human thinking. Research shows that implicit theories radically shape human thinking, behaviour, and progress. In the domain of education, implicit theories have significant as- sociations to academic performance. In social domains, implicit theories are associated with development of social and soft skills, and groupwork behaviour. This article reviews the most significant research on implicit theories in educational and social domains, and shows significant research gaps in computing education. This article also summarises our previous findings, and presents new results from a sample of n = 39 second year CS or computer engineering (CE) students in University of Turku, Finland, Department of Future Technologies. We investigated students’ implicit theories and related association with academic achievement in first CS courses. Contrary to a lot of research, but in line with our own previous findings, we found that fixed implicit theories were connected with academic achievement. However, more data is needed to add reliability and confirm the results either way. The implications of implicit theories to development of soft skills are discussed, and a future research agenda is laid out.

Last updated on 2021-24-06 at 10:09