Mitchel Resnick, the man behind Scratch and other cool educational tools, runs the Lifelong Kindergarten research group at MIT’s Media Lab. He posted a great article (co-authored with David Siegel) called A Different Approach to Coding. In the article he posted four guiding principles for introducing coding.
- Projects: Provide children with opportunities to work on meaningful projects (not just puzzle-solving activities) so they experience the process of turning an initial idea into a creation that can be shared with others.
- Peers: Encourage collaboration and sharing, and help children learn to build on the work of others. Coding shouldn’t be a solitary activity.
- Passion: Allow children to work on projects connected to their interests. They’ll work longer and harder — and learn more in the process.
- Play: Encourage children to experiment playfully — try new things, take risks, test the boundaries, learn from failures.
The whole article is well worth reading. I really like these “Four Ps” though because they resonate with me and how I like to teach. I think these is the best explanation of how I think coding should be taught I have seen.