Secondary education students' difficulties on database design and remedial teaching strategies
Databases use and design has utilitarian and pedagogical educational interest. The utilitarian interest for database design education is determined by their economic impact. Databases pedagogical interest rises from their view as models and the possibility to use them for the design of general knowledge learning activities. The utilitarian and learning advantages rationalize the database design instruction in secondary education rising educational research questions. In this paper we report some key research findings about 11th grade students’ difficulties in database design, focusing especially in the representation of relationships. For the clarification of students’ difficulties research activities were designed and implemented that asked students to transform given ER schemata to the corresponding logical and vice-versa. The analysis of students’ solutions resulted in a systematic categorization of their difficulties and the proposition of specific action strategies for database design instruction improvement.