This past Saturday, I sat waiting for my four-year-old to complete his swimming lesson. Looking around the pool deck, I noticed several people (children included) who were engaged with electronic devices: tablets, cell phones, e-readers.
I began to think about the many aspects of our lives affected by changes in technology both socially and economically. Due to advancements in technology, the job market has changed doing away with some current jobs, but also creating new ones. Years from now, there will likely be jobs available which do not exist presently, but are brought about because of future technology developments.
Now is the time to prepare our young children for an automated economy – for their future lives.
How do we do this?
Some parents have begun teaching coding processes to children as early as age two. But research concludes that teaching coding independently is not going to be enough to sustain a person in the future economy.
We, at Stepping Stone School, are excited to unite technology and learning as we teach introductory skills in our early childhood classrooms by focusing on Coding Foundations. Coding foundations include Higher Order thinking skills associated with the coding process including tasks like analyzing, predicting, planning, patterning, sequencing, sorting, organizing, and evaluating. Before introducing children to the technology tools used for coding, we practice the concepts of Higher Order Thinking Skills through screen-free, hands-on activities basic to the coding process.
These activities enable children to work in small groups promoting teamwork, cooperation, and sharing. With the support of a caring professional, children are encouraged to explore, overcome challenges, and discuss their thinking enabling them to learn skills which will help them to become resilient problem-solvers.
When combined with our Communities of Character and additional Platinum Learning for Life™ curriculum resources, our youngest children will be prepared for an ever-changing future equipped with the ability to think in computational terms and persevere through challenges as they continue to inquire and learn about the world around them.
Kaldor, T. (2017, Feb. 1). “The T in STEM: Creating Play-Based Experiences That Support Children’s Learning of Coding and Higher Order Thinking.” Retrieved on August 4, 2017 from http://www.naeyc.org/blogs/early-coding-higher-thinking
Miller, C. & Bidgood, J. (2017, July 31). “How to Prepare Preschoolers for an Automated Economy.” Retrieved on August 1, 2017 from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/31/upshot/how-to-prepare-preschoolers-for-an-automated-economy.html