In this article “Coding as a Literacy for the 21st Century“, Marina Umaschi Bers, our co-founder, Professor at Tufts University, and director of the DevTech research group. describes the new educational landscape and how coding should be included as a literacy.
She continues, “One of the goals of education is to help people think creatively to solve the problems of our world. Only a subset of those problems can be solved by STEM disciplines. As more people learn to code and computer programming leaves the exclusive domain of computer science and become central to other professions, the civic dimension of literacy comes into play. Literacy has the power to bring about social change.
If coding is the literacy of the 21st century, we need to start teaching it early, at the same time that we teach students how to read and write. Research, including the work by the economist Nobel laureate James Heckman, shows that both from an economic and a developmental standpoint, educational interventions that begin in early childhood are associated with lower costs and more durable effects than those that begin later. We know that, as a literacy, coding will open doors, many of them that we cannot anticipate now. But we also know that these young coders are children. It is not enough to copy models of computer science education that were developed for older students.“