Why Teaching Kids Only How to Code Will Not Help Them
When I see offers to teach kids how to code, one of the major concerns I have is that I know this will not help a child become a better logical thinker. If you send a child with arm deficiencies to practice boxing, she will not make significant development.
However, she may excel in other sports, such as Karate. You may bring her into a life of sorrow and disappointment if you allow her to learn coding and programming, which are considered logical thinking that not everyone is excellent or supposed to be good at. I mean, it is highly beneficial for individuals to code and study coding and programming, as this is the future of our existence on this planet.
My parents used to buy a lot of Atari game consoles when I was a kid. I enjoyed playing, but I was more interested in learning how things worked. Many times, when I was 5-6 years old, I got a screwdriver and opened the gadgets to see what was inside. Furthermore, it is customary to suppose that I could not reassemble most of the time and the device was no longer functional. Don’t try this at home :).
The game console was upgraded to a Commodore64 when I was eight years old. I was a little older at the time and realized that the device was more expensive and complicated than a traditional Atari system. I experimented with the books that came with the gadget, following the instructions to load programs (games) or save data to magnetic storage. We are talking about 1989, guys. Floppy disks were not widely accessible. My curiosity and attraction to the logical universe were not immediately apparent. I did not care much about the games, but I spent hours typing programs on the screen that I didn’t understand just to read some messages or build a calculator. I loved the hustle. Let’s take a step back and look at this from a different perspective. Would I still love it if it had nothing to do with what I could enjoy or what I was excellent at? Others may not have had the same experience.
Where My Curiosity Has Led Me
I’ve always been a decent software developer or someone who enjoys creating software solutions. My interest and desire always allowed me to be ahead of my time, and I was able to lead a large number of people in my profession due to that curiosity. My ability to think logically and solve problems propelled me to a very high quality and comprehension of software development. Is it conceivable if it was only planned for me? Will I be a mediocre software developer who is unhappy and disappointed?
For decades, our generation was subjected to an education system that was not designed to put you ahead of your peers and family. Perhaps, for the sake of prestige or possessing certifications or degrees. Alternatively, for the sake of social approval. But did schooling make us more successful in life? That could be answered differently from a personal or social standpoint. Education has made our planet a better place to live by providing an average knowledge of life’s circumstances. But didn’t the majority of successful millionaires and world-changers study in a different way?
Why We Need Digital Education More Than Coding
In my perspective, the capacity to address real-life problems and concerns is a crucial talent that digital education should emphasize rather than coding. The development and understanding of algorithms and the creation of logical algorithms for various contexts are fundamental. However, coding would never prioritize this over developing the method in a different language. It makes me very happy when I see parents recognize the importance of raising future digital citizens. However, teaching their children coding may not be required.
I learned about KidsLifeSkills, a non-profit organization, a few months ago. To teach youngsters logical thinking and problem-solving, this company takes a unique approach, including gamification tactics and a pleasant manner to keep a child engaged. This is a great concept and process for creating future digital citizens.
Figure 1. KidsLifeSkills Approach to Teaching, Source: https://www.kidslifeskills.org/how-we-teach
Finally, yes, it is time for a paradigm shift. Richard Culatta argues in his book “Digital for Good: Raising Kids to Thrive in an Online World” that technology can help us learn, solve issues, and bring us together. He outlines five attributes that every young person should learn to become a flourishing, contributing digital citizen: Be balanced, Stay informed, Be inclusive, Be engaged, Stay alert.
Figure 2. Richard Culatta’s Five Attributes of a Digital Citizen
It’s more important than teaching kids how to code to teach them new digital behaviors early. Twenty years ago, the globe was a very different place. The new breed of cybercriminals differs significantly from earlier generations. A good or bad digital citizen has yet to be defined by legislation in many nations. Teach your children to come up with their solutions to challenges. Mechanical engineers and artists, for the most part, approach problems in quite different ways.
Read more about KidsLifeSKills here: