As many of my colleagues know, education is something I’m deeply passionate about. The right education on a global scale can be the catalyst for solving the most complex and deeply rooted social problems that we face as a society. The most exciting development on this journey towards improved education is the introduction of basic programming to young children, and I’ll highlight a few reasons why I believe that to be the case.
The reasons are obvious. There are very limited avenues to foster the following key attributes needed for a leader to have impact in today’s society:
Unfortunately, the rigid structure of public schools in America makes students more prone to accepting smaller challenges to secure higher grades, as opposed to taking risks and giving themselves greater challenges to promote cognitive development. It’s unsurprising that over the years, people develop a fear of failure that persists for many years later. Taking risks is rarely encouraged and even more rarely rewarded in traditional public school systems.
There are many more advantages, but the beauty of these benefits is that they are intrinsic to programming and thus are not easy to avoid. Doing well in programming means you need to accept a degree of trial and error and you need to hone these skills to consistently produce working applications.
The science seems to agree that the benefits of teaching programming to young children is similar to the benefits of teaching them a second language. The additional benefits are that programming can change the way people think for the better, make them better problem solvers, and open up a world of possibilities for them at a young age.