Survey Shows the Many Benefits of Learning to Code
Computer Science courses will enhance your child’s problem-solving, creativity, and critical thinking skills.
Research concludes that learning to code can improve a child’s overall academic performance while increasing their math and reading skills. A computer science education can also develop important hard skills like critical thinking and problem-solving which has also been shown to enhance a child’s academics. In addition to academic performance, learning to code has a positive effect on soft skills such as communication and teamwork.
The ability to code will empower your child’s ability to communicate and give them an outlet to express their creativity and bring their visions and ideas to life. Coding is the foundation for a career in tech, making a Computer Science education more and more necessary due to the huge increase in the need for programmers in today’s job market.
Code fuels the world’s technology; from microprocessors in everyday items like refrigerators and water heaters to sophisticated programs that help run our cars and buildings. Computer programming not only offers a future of creative job opportunities, but coding is a language that can be used to change our world for the better.
To help understand the benefits of coding and the impact it can have on a child’s academics, Tynker conducted a study of over 1,000 parents with children between the ages of 5 and 18 as well as nearly 140 teachers.
What Parents Think About Coding
“I think schools should make coding mandatory for children from 3rd grade to college. It improves the thinking of a child. It lets imagination flow free and allows the child to create amazing things.”
Nearly all parents (89%) surveyed see that a computer science education helps children develop both hard and soft skills, observing firsthand the positive effects of learning to code.
Over 90% of parents surveyed report that computer science improves their child’s critical thinking and problem-solving skills as well as their creativity.
The graphs below detail how Tynker parents rate computer programming effects on these crucial if not essential 21st-century skills.
In addition to these developmental skills, computer programming also has a positive effect on academic skills. Our survey shows that almost 9 in 10 parents believe that learning to code improves their child’s overall academic performance, especially in mathematics, while more than half noticed better grades in reading and writing.
Of course, coding and math make sense together, but there’s more to it. For example, when students program a game they use variables and arithmetic. And, when they make shapes with a pen drawing, they use geometry.
However, learning to code also reinforces a student’s core reading skills, since coding demands the same accuracy that is fundamental to reading comprehension. In recognition of its ability to fortify student academic skills, more and more schools are beginning to add coding to their core curriculum.
Parents also notice that learning to code increases their child’s soft skills such as teamwork, collaboration, and communication. Just about three out of four parents agree that coding is having a positive impact on the types of skills that can really make a difference in school and potential work environments.
It’s clear from the data that a majority of parents feel coding is essential to a child’s education. When asked specifically about their daughters, parents continued to state the importance of learning computer programming for their future.
Parents were less concerned (when compared to teachers) about coding courses and careers being dominated by boys and more concerned that there was equality in the opportunity to learn to code.
“We need females to contribute to the CS world. Both genders are needed to complement each other in any successive project environment.”
“I don’t think it’s important whether it’s a boy or girl; yes there is a lack of women in tech, I am also a woman in tech, everyone is entitled to pursue their interests. It is more important to nurture their interest/curiosity in coding. Then provide them platforms like Tynker to explore/discover/innovate/create.”
What Teachers Think About Coding
“Coding is an increasingly beneficial skill that will open their eyes to future employment opportunities. It also supports our core academic content in a fun and novel way.”
“Coding speaks to students in a way that traditional teaching does not. Students become stronger problem-solvers on their own and they are more engaged when completing coding activities.”
93% of teachers say that coding improves mathematical skills while virtually all teachers see improvements in critical thinking skills (97%), problem-solving skills (97%), and creativity (96%) when children learn to code.
Across the board, teachers ranked the benefits of learning to code higher in every skill when compared to parent responses.
When asked to finish the sentence — I want kids in school to learn coding concepts, teachers and parents most often talked about skill-building, career opportunities, and developing skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving. Both teachers and parents spoke to us about preparing children for future success and feel that learning to code can help them achieve it.
Teachers and parents were clear that both boys and girls should be taught coding to improve not just their education but future career opportunities. However, in reference to girls, teachers overwhelmingly feel that tech, math, and science careers were still dominated by boys.
Teachers believe that it’s essential to make sure girls feel empowered to learn how to code and enjoy its benefits. Additionally, they say that coding builds self-esteem and can help girls see that they’re just as good as boys in math and science, and that tech can be a viable career option for them too.
“By middle school, many girls still shy away from science and technology-based fields due to the perception that they are “not smart enough” or the fields are “too manly.”
“Girls need to know that they can be successful in programming and that their attention to detail is vital in coding.”
Top 5 Broader Benefits of Learning to Code
A summary of parent/teacher thoughts:
- Critical Thinking
Coding trains your brain to approach problems and their solutions differently by building the capacity to monitor, evaluate, and control thinking while completing new tasks.
Coding requires a trial and error approach that improves your ability to solve problems. If a particular piece of code isn’t working, you’ll develop methods to think through the individual issues and steps in finding a solution.
Creativity just needs to be channeled and released. Steps in the creative process include observation, asking questions, drawing connections, experimenting, and getting different perspectives. Each of these elements empowers the imagination to create original coded projects.
Computer programmers pick up math skills while learning to code. For example, when students program a video game they use the variables, expressions, angles, and numbers key to arithmetic and geometry.
There are a lot of opportunities to build projects together in coding communities, where programmers learn to manage their time and team with discussion, compromise, and negotiation.
Teachers and parents agree that coding enhances both soft and hard skills while better preparing children for school and possible careers. That’s why Tynker is dedicated to making learning how to code fun and easy for all children ages 5 to 18.
—Co-Founder and CTO Srinivas Mandyam
To learn more about coding, check out these articles from Tynker:
- What is coding?
- How Coding Develops 21st Century Skills
- Coding with Minecraft
- Benefits of Learning Python for Kids
We can’t wait to see what your child will create with code!