Coding skills have become an important future skill set in our modern world. Many countries have introduced coding and algorithmic thinking in their curricula. It’s often highlighted that these skills belong to everyone. Truly, coding skills can be even named as a new literacy!
The importance of coding competencies is reflected the huge amount of online materials for 21st century skills. For anyone interested in learning how to code, the main issue is finding the best suitable platform.
The internet is full of coding materials. But where are the courses on the pedagogy of coding?
Much fewer teacher training courses and programs are offered on how to teach coding effectively. If coding skills are to be made accessible for a wider audience, up-to-date pedagogy is needed. Coding pedagogy is its own art as programming combines algorithmic thinking and creative problem-solving.
High quality teacher training is needed to equip teachers with pedagogical skills to unleash the coding potential of all of their students. If students will not be able to use their coding skills in their own lives, the money and resources used for coding education will be wasted! This is why we think teaching coding should be based on meaningful learning that combines projects, phenomena and peer learning. Nowadays, such skills are taught to teachers and tutors through online training, which creates both opportunities and challenges for professional development.
Supplying teachers with the tool set of the future
We at Code School Finland base our teacher training courses on the scientific TPACK* model to maximise the value of professional development. According to the model, teachers who teach coding need:
- Content knowledge: Teachers need to understand the essentials of coding.
- Technological knowledge: Teachers need to know how computers and robots work.
- Pedagogical knowledge: Last but not least, teachers need to know how to effectively use teaching methods that maximise student learning and engagement.
* Harris, Judi & Koehler, Matthew & Mishra, Punya. (2009). What Is Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge?. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education. Find the full research paper here.
None of these three skill sets is more important than the others. But make sure not to neglect the importance of pedagogy!
We are launching an online course Finnish Lessons on Teaching Coding that encapsulates our Code School Finland pedagogy. The course is best suited for K-12 teachers. This 100% online course is the 1st in the Code School Finland series of the Online Teacher Professional Development 3.0 program, which will lead to Certification by Code School Finland. The course material is based on our certified and awarded materials and pedagogical approaches.
Read more about the 100% online course here.