Teaching Resourcefulness through Computer Programming

Author : Guest Blogger
Date : March 11, 2018

Children today have access to more information and have more to learn and process than ever before. Unless they develop skills that help them stay organized, solve problems, and make decisions efficiently, they’ll be frustrated by information overload instead of gaining the knowledge they need to be successful.

Parents and teachers tend to focus on grades and test scores as a measure of what children are learning, but these aren’t strong indicators of how well they’ll deal with overcoming obstacles and solving problems. Instead, we need to focus on developing children’s resourcefulness so that they’ll know how to deal with educational challenges and be prepared for success in the real world.

Resourcefulness through problem solving

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The biggest shift that is needed in the classroom is a strong emphasis on problem solving. Older teaching styles may have focused on rote learning and memorization, but this isn’t effective at preparing children for a world in which they can always find any piece of information. Instead, students need to learn how to break problems into small, manageable units and analyze the information that is needed to solve those problems.

Computer science classes are especially good at teaching the logical thinking needed for this type of problem solving. To build a successful computer program, students have to understand the problem, create and implement a program to solve it, and assess whether their plan was successful. This instant feedback loop helps them build problem-solving skills and understand what went wrong when programs aren’t successful.

Objectivity and scepticism

By learning to research and back up information, students are on a more solid ground for problem solving. When faced with multiple possible solutions, we build resourcefulness by training students to take a step back and evaluate all the possible inputs and outcomes. They may need to be a little sceptical of an easy solution or a claim that hasn’t been verified.

Review and expand

One major positive outcome of this analytical style of teaching is that we can help students look for areas where their new skills might be more generally applied. Though this process, children don’t just learn how to solve a single, isolated problem. Instead, they learn a repeatable framework that they can use in any situation.

Helping children evaluate the thinking processes that lead to the decisions they made, whether the outcome was positive or negative, builds and understanding of how to collect, evaluate, and use the information the need to solve any problem. When faced with an unfamiliar problem in the future, they’ll have tools to help.

Collaboration skills vs. independent work

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Building teamwork skills is an important part of the learning process, and students who are good at collaboration are more resourceful because they know their own strengths and how to benefit from working with others. Some tasks may be more effectively done alone, but learning to work in teams is important as well. Students working in groups need to be able to evaluate a problem and decide how to best divide the effort.

All of these skills contribute to helping children become more resourceful in the classroom and in the real world. If you want to boost your child’s resourcefulness through computer coding, Junior Coders offers fun classes that teach problem solving skills and prepare kids for success.

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