Did you know that computer programming classes can turn today’s school kids into tomorrow’s valedictorians? On the surface, this may sound too good to be true, but research indicates that this is indeed the case. Study after study has shown the immense positive relationship between kids learning computer programming at a young age and performing well in school. The correlation is so strong that when Obama was president, he proposed an initiative called “computer science for all” which stipulated that all American students learn computer skills at a young age in order to ensure that they excel in math and in all classes in general.
After 10 years of intensive research on this subject, many academicians are convinced that it is the duty of primary and secondary schools in America to train young children in computer programming because this is capable of closing the ‘achievement gap’ that still characterizes and separates the wealthy suburban schools from their poverty stricken inner city counterparts. Research results from California show that nearly half of American junior high and high school students repeat Algebra class which is considered to be a ‘gateway class’ in terms of higher level mathematics, mainly because of the poorer teaching and evaluation standards which California’s and national districts used to adhere to.
As mentioned earlier, extensive research and studies have shown that math, when taught with computer programming, enlightens students on the complex discipline because it gives helps them better understand the complex concepts and how they are relevant to real life situations in terms of logic and measurement of real-life phenomena. For example, when students are asked to solve a simple algebraic equation by writing a complex computer program, they further develop their logical and critical thinking skills because they learn to identify and describe math variables in an abstract manner, and they learn to pay meticulous attention to the precision of integers and numbers in a mathematical formula, they learn to develop a mathematical model, and they learn to create algorithms with specific patterns.
Furthermore, because writing and developing computer programs is a team effort, students learn to work with each other, critique and analyze different learning patterns and thinking styles, and they learn to help each other during the process of writing and developing the computer programs. They also learn how to deal with different personalities, and this helps them concentrate on mathematical and other projects better.
Currently, more than 200 schools in California have adopted the the c-stem program, and the results are astounding because they have found that the math achievement gap for at risk students has closed dramatically with these students excelling in disciplines that they previously thought were impossible to excel in. Many schools report a pass rate in the high 90’s of inner city students whose parents themselves were high school dropouts.
While computer programming will never completely replace in class learning through textbooks, numerous research based studies are demonstrating that they can help students from all background excel in school by nurturing and developing their intellectual capacities to the fullest extent possible!