Research with Scratch


I have been thinking more about how Scratch impacts the development of cognitive and social skills in children. Being relatively new to this platform, I am not sure what kind of research there is on the impact of Scratch (or even similar programs) on children’s development of creative thinking, coding, story telling, etc.

Perhaps we can share some research findings/knowledge expertise in this forum?

My first question is inspired by our project from this week. It was mentioned one of the benefits of Scratch is children do not have to type code or look for syntax errors. I do not know if using puzzle pieces for code necessarily leads to fewer challenges coding via typing, but I would be interested to know what research has been done on that end.


The Scratch website points to a list of research done here. I haven’t checked, but it might be interesting.

As for the specific question you ask, in my modest experience with Scratch, I would say that it’s a matter of limiting the kind of problems that can arise. Syntax errors are just not possible, so one problem less. Of course there are many more possible errors, but what would coding be without debugging? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Also, the fact that the program doesn’t let you snap certain blocks in some ways (coupled with the visual cues the interface provides) can lead to insights as to why that particular snapping is forbidden (why it is a syntax error).

Anyway, just reflections based on my experience with Scratch. Would love to hear more voices on this topic :smiley:


The biggest advantage I have found to blocks-based programming vs. text-based programming is the latter requires memorization while the former encourages exploration/discovery. From a multiple intelligences/varied learning styles standpoint, some students find the categories of blocks helpful while others find the shapes or colors help them find/remember commands. Personally, I find the object-oriented and spacial aspect of Scratch appealing, where my code is distributed between objects (sprites) and I can organize scripts (snapped-together-blocks) within the Script Editor window of each sprite.