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Teaching Programming to the Next Generation


Our generation of young people in school (aged 5-18) have noticed the connection between Computer pRogramming, Technology & Success and Billionaires.On mass they are clamoring to master the skill of Computer pRogramming. We describe a successful working model for the teaching of Computer pRogamming.

Computer Science is now regarded as one of the leading disciplines in the 21st century. Computers are ubiquitous and prevalent in most, if not all, sectors of our modern society – applications include using them in weather forecasting, robotic surgery, space exploration, e-commerce, smart cities, driverless cars, etc.

Therefore, coding or computer programming is now regarded by many as an essential skill for the young person, and it has been dubbed the β€˜4th’ R’ (computer pRogramming) along with Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic.

In recognition of the new status of computer programming, governments worldwide have launched initiatives to have it taught in schools from Kindergarten through to junior school and all the way through secondary school.

So, the question emerges is how do we best teach and motivate the next generation in acquiring this skill? Given the fact that this field is very much in its infancy, there are insufficient number of skilled Computer Science teachers and very little pedagogy to guide the educator. Therefore, the whole world is learning how best to teach this subject by trial and error.

The talk will describe a case study whereby coding/computer programming, in the form of Python programming, was introduced to a group of 110 young people from the ages of 11 to 18 (Years 7-13 in a U.K secondary school). The talk will include descriptions of the various teaching methodologies introduced to the young people for this purpose and the outcomes; the talk will also address various challenges and questions about how to teach coding to young people. The talk will conclude with helpful suggestions, based on the findings of the case study, on how to proceed with the teaching of computer programming to these people.


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