Coding is now a part of the compulsory curriculum in the UK, from age 5 to 14. In some circles, coding is seen as a 21st century skill that has become as important as reading, writing and arithmetic. We often hear that coding skills are considered vital to improve the future employment prospects of pupils at school today.
This is why every child should learn coding.
The digital world is now central in daily life
The message that children should be spending more time in front of a screen learning to code puts parents in an awkward position in some ways. Most parents are of the belief that ‘screen time’ should be rationed and that outdoor and active pursuits should be encouraged more, for the sake of a healthy lifestyle balance.
However, as the world becomes more and more digitally focused, it stands to reason that kids need to be involved in the digital conversation. For many parents, in their own childhood, technology was something that was on the periphery – a novelty – and purely related to leisure activity.
Now, technology and digital is a central and a core part of daily life – in the home and in the workplace.
Why is coding so important for children?
Coding is great for developing skills and qualities in certain areas. Firstly, it helps children to grow in confidence. Secondly, it helps them to think logically. Finally, it promotes creative thinking too.
However, even a task as relatively straightforward and simple as choosing a digital image to use in a display; or to place on a blog or social media post, involves abstract reasoning. It also calls on creative and imaginative skills, as well as strategic thinking.
All in all though, moving from an abstract idea into a ‘system’ that functions is an extremely useful transferable skill.
Coding also involves creating projects (great for imagination) that need to be unpicked, deconstructed and analysed (great for logic). This, in essence, is the way that complex maths works.
The visual result that a child gets on screen might be more engaging than a problem in a Maths exercise book – but success in one can lead to success in the other.
Coding is great for boosting confidence. You need to persevere to correct code, but when the final goal is reached the sense of achievement is great. Therefore, kids who learn coding can become more resilient and driven. These are key character qualities that will stand anybody in good stead – at school or in the workplace.
Of course, not all children will become software developers or engineers in the future. However, even if they never code again in later life, learning to code when so young will prove to be invaluable. For one, it will help to demystify digital for them and give them a vital insight into the way of the (digital) world.
Add to that the problem solving skills coding helps to nurture and those important qualities – tenacity and determination, etcetera – and you see why every child should learn coding.