In line with the growing interest in extending the diversity of CS students, we examined the performance of a unique group of students studying an introductory course in Digital logic: ultraorthodox Jewish men, whose previous education was based mostly on studying Talmud and who lacked a conventional high-school education. We used questions from the Digital Logic Concept Inventory. We compared the results to those of religious Jewish men with a conventional high-school education, and to the results reported in the literature. The ultraorthodox group performed better than the other groups in tasks that concerned number representation. No other statistically significant differences were found. Talk-aloud protocols revealed that the ultraorthodox students utilized a viable conceptual understanding in their performance. We can conclude that students’ unique, alternative prior education should not be merely viewed as an obstacle to their academic studies, but also as a potential source for strengths.
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- Talmudic prior education
- concept inventory
- logic design
- ultraorthodox Jews