Coding is gaining traction in schools across India. Learn why coding is crucial for young minds

Posted by Manasa Ramakrishnan on Sep 28, 2020 5:31:30 PM
Manasa Ramakrishnan
What Happens When a Child Learns Coding
How does the knowledge of coding at an early stage expedite a child’s growth?

The staggering pace at which the world is evolving will make the high-paying jobs of today stand irrelevant after a couple of years. In a country like India where the education system is still grappling with archaic issues such as lack of innovation and redundant curriculum, coding is a well-structured way to prepare children for a job market dominated by technology and computers. If the knowledge of coding is imparted at an early stage, children perhaps will fathom that what happens when they use technology is not magic, it is something that they can build on their own. Kids exposed to coding at an early stage can cultivate the love or even the passion for it, and discover that it is what they want to do in life. Coding is an initial step to computer programming.

Coding for kids commences with a simple drag-and-drop visual programming where they connect blocks to make programmes. This further gets transitioned to more traditional programming languages such as Python.

The ability to solve problems is a trait that is useful in life in general and every parent wants their children to become excellent problem solvers. Coding helps kids to navigate their way through any problem from a very early age.

But the idea of ‘code literacy’ remains a herculean task for some parents, in which case, it’s time for them to take a detour. Let’s take a look at how coding is no different than any other subject that children learn at school.

Why coding should be taught at an early age?

Digital technology remains an intrinsic part of every kids’ life today. They are surrounded by smartphones, video games, video entertainment, etc. What drives this technology is software or computer programmes that are facilitated by coding.

Teaching kids about how gadgets around them work should be as common as telling them about photosynthesis and its implications. The 21st century is not an era to sit back, let kids take their trajectory, and pick their favorite subject after class 10. Exposure at an early stage will carve a kid’s thinking and will develop computational reasoning as his/her second nature. There is no age to bolster the future aspects of a child; in fact, if parents see a way out to do so, they should get right at it. Even many non-programming jobs that require the use of computers would need some level of coding knowledge. Coding can be introduced to kids as a form of storytelling which has a logical beginning, progression, and an ending. The knowledge of programming/coding affects brain processes, and the outcome spills over into other aspects of life. 

According to a Harvard Study, “The basic architecture of the brain is constructed through an ongoing process that begins before birth and continues into adulthood. Early experiences affect the quality of that architecture by establishing either a sturdy or a fragile foundation for all of the learning, health, and behavior that follow. In the first few years of life, more than 1 million new neural connections are formed every second. After this period of rapid proliferation, connections are reduced through a process called pruning, so that brain circuits become more efficient. Sensory pathways like those for basic vision and hearing are the first to develop, followed by early language skills and higher cognitive functions. Connections proliferate and prune in a prescribed order, with later, more complex brain circuits built upon earlier, simpler circuits.”

This means it’s better to train a child’s developing brain architecture at an early stage than to rewire parts of its circuitry in the adult years. At the primary level, the knowledge of coding helps children to become articulate and think logically. They start breaking down what’s happening around them and also predict what’s going to happen using reasoning.

Though schools across India have woken up to the ‘tech reality’ of today and render basic computer skills and knowledge, they still lag when it comes to real computer programming with professional languages and tools. Besides, mentor support remains consequential as kids progress into intermediate and advanced projects.

What do kids learn from coding?

When kids learn to read and write code, their cognitive skills, problem-solving abilities, get enhanced. Some of the advantages of learning coding at an early stage are:

  1. Coding pushes kids to exercise their imagination and improvise when they have limited resources. When they create something that works, a sense of achievement gets bolstered and self-confidence prevails.
  2. Coding teaches kids to break down complex by generating a hypothesis. Step-by-step procedures to produce the desired outcome is what students will get trained in. With the help of coding a child develops problem-solving attributes at an early stage that further is transferable to multiple other fields.
  3. On several occasions, components that kids create will not work. This will boost perseverance in them where they will learn to recreate what is not working and keep doing so until it does.
  4. Children have creative and fluid minds that allow them to think unconventionally. The innumerable ways of coding and solving problems inspire kids to grow and flourish at a budding age.
  5. Coding also helps in building math’s skills. It shows kids the practical application of math, and why it remains consequential.  When kids learn how to code, they can visualise abstract concepts that allow them to apply math to real-world situations making the subject fun and creative.

Coding not only enhances the future aspect of children but also trains them in skills such as sequencing, problem-solving, math concepts, reading and writing, creativity, etc. which intern boosts their overall academic performance. The benefits of coding reverberate in every aspect of a child’s life.

What Happens When a Child Learns Coding

How LEAD School is stirring the education space with its coding and programming knowledge to kids?

LEAD School’s Integrated System allows its students to lead right from the nascent age. Following the mantra, “The younger the better”, LEAD School renders a balanced approach to the emotional, social, cognitive, and language development of kids that prepare kids for success beyond schools. LEAD School renders India’s 1st Computational and Coding Skills (CCS) that makes students future-ready. LEAD School also…

  1. Teaches computational and coding skills rather than computers as a subject.
  2. Teaches coding on the latest technologies, such as game development and data science on Python, graphic designing on Scratch.
  3. Teaches how to use computers safely and responsibly
  4. Delivers pedagogical style of‘Use, Think, Build’ that is proven to deliver competence and skill
  5. Students work on projects where they build and publish software applications

 

Besides, LEAD School provides teacher training around the year that ensures high-quality implementation of the curriculum. The programme at LEAD School even includes learning computation on mobile that can be practiced by all at home.

With LEAD School, students learn by working on a project where every year they create 5-6 projects such as building a website that allows e-book, note sharing among classmates, building a tic-tac-toe game/ snake and ladder game, etc. Projects in the CCS class integrate computers with concepts from real-life and other subjects. For example, a Grade 6 student builds a visualisation that proves Pythagoras theorem, etc.

 

Coding is a skill that takes kids places, allowing them to venture into many compelling and fulfilling career opportunities later in life.

To talk to a LEAD professional today about our successful CCS programme, click here

About the Author
Manasa Ramakrishnan

Manasa is a Branding and Communication Manager at LEAD School. She is an Asian College of Journalism alumnus and a former Teach for India Fellow. Manasa has also completed her MBA in marketing from Deakin University. She strongly believes that education has the power to shake the world and is excited to be a part of LEAD’s transformational journey.

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