Just last year, Singapore’s government made coding classes a mandatory subject for all primary school students. The Ministry of Education (MOE) has recognized the importance of coding for all kids when transitioning into our digitized tech environment. The reasons for recognition are often based on future job applications and being able to contribute to the new digital economy through STEM education.
However, talks about the future and career paths to young ones may seem daunting and ever-so far from the present moment. Thus, aside from future career benefits, programming and coding do have other benefits that can contribute to your learning and development. Here are the top 6 learning development benefits to programming and coding.
1. Problem Solving
Employers hire and pay programmers and coders well primarily for their ability to solve complex problems. When coding or programming, you often need to find a solution to a specific problem. For example, ‘how do you allow certain data to be transported from one place to the next?’. These challenges are often tackled in coding classes whereby the problem at hand is broken down into smaller, more manageable parts. These parts are then explored further to see what kind of solution best matches each part. Soon enough, you’re then able to apply the same form of thinking to other subjects like geometry, literary writing, or even art. You can then apply these same problem-solving skills to real-life situations, such as managing a group project or breaking down chores in a to-do list.
2. Psychological and Neurological Developmental Benefits
The psychological benefits of coding and programming, it is known to activate our brain’s learning centres within the cerebral cortex and the hippocampus. Activation in these areas when young increases the likelihood of holding on to these neural pathways later in life. The advantages of strengthening these pathways are to help with the child’s memorizing and cognitive thinking skills. For example, being able to memorize complex information on a topic and being able to understand and digest them quickly. With these neurological benefits, some studies have also shown that coding and programming do reduce the likelihood of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
On another note, memorizing and cognitive skills are often seen in many programmers and coders. They can often quickly come up with new solutions for problems on top of their head through memory.
One surprising misconception people might have about coding and programming is the lack of creativity.
Since everything is written in text on a computer, does it seem like there wouldn’t be any need for creativity to be involved? This is a misconception, as coding is all about creating something new. Tech giants like Google, Amazon, and Facebook all depend on creative problem-solving. Coders and programmers have to be creative and be able to come with their original solutions when tackling new issues. Coding can also resemble actual language writing. You can write code in various ways as long as you follow the syntax rules. This is similar to how we would write in English. Thus, code does improve one’s creativity.
When a person learns to code, they learn how to communicate with the most simple-minded audience. Aka, computers. Computers can conduct many complicated functions, but they are simple-minded and limited in terms of what they can understand. Thus, when we code, we need to know how to break things down to size or structure them in a simple way whereby the computer can easily digest the information. Similar to how we should explain complicated topics like economics or chemistry to someone without any prior knowledge.
5. Logical & Structural Thinking
Another common trait most coders and programmers have is the ability to think in logical and structural ways. Similar to problem-solving, they’re able to logically look at a problem and dissect it down to its structural components. This way of thinking is beneficial not to just coding and programming but as a way to view the world as a whole. The world is becoming an increasingly complex place. With each passing day, the volume of information being released is rapidly increasing. Being able to logically sort out the knowledge and break it down to its simplest parts becomes a necessary skill in any kind of industry. Thus, learning it through coding at a young age will help you gain an invaluable way of looking at the world.
6. Fun and Satisfying
Just like learning any new foreign language, starting with coding and programming will be a bit challenging. Every word and text will seem like a complete mystery to you. But just like learning a new language, the benefits of being able to use the language do give you immense satisfaction and open up a new world of possibilities. By using the newly acquired language, you’ll be able to find tons of new connections and explore newer worlds as each programming language can be a gateway to creating something completely new. You’re able to create fun games, apps, websites, and more.
From problem-solving, memory and cognition, creativity, and communication to logical thinking and enjoyment – these are the skills and benefits a STEM education can help build!
Check out our free trial STEM courses if you’d like to explore!