Coding is a great option for building critical thinking skills. Critical thinking involves approaching a problem or situation analytically and breaking it into separate components for more efficient problem-solving. Critical thinking also involves being able to adequately express yourself and being mentally flexible. Computer programming does an excellent job encouraging kids to think of creative solutions which naturally stretches the mind’s flexibility. In coding, every situation is unique, which is what makes it helpful for challenging the mind as well as our approach to problems and solutions.
Coding is one of those activities where mistakes and second, third, or fourth attempts are merely par for the course. In fact, they are to be expected. Consequently, coding teaches to give yourself grace, not to fear mistakes, not to equate mistakes with failure, and finally, that practice makes perfect.
Multiple attempts at fixing an issue are common, and it helps kids learn to try various techniques until the solution is achieved. As Steve Jobs claimed: “Coding teaches you how to think.”
One of the biggest ways programming strengthens critical thinking is by utilizing the exact same process. Coders must try, make mistakes, and try again, until reaching the solution. Just by learning how to code, students will be learning the same patterns and steps of critical thinking.
It is, in actuality, a language, and one of the most accurate languages in existence at that. Programming translates instructions into a language for a computer to perform a certain desired result.
In life, it’s not always black and white. Coding encourages students to maintain the mindset that there may be another way to reach the desired solution. This perspective could easily spill into other subjects and even friendships with other people for a more accepting and open mind. Finally, coding helps students become more aware of how technology works, which is important since it affects nearly everything in our daily lives.