Parents want their children to be tech literate in our increasingly technological world, and why wouldn't they? It is important for children to comprehend and be able to interact with the technology that surrounds them. Learning to code not only prepares children for a variety of career options but also improves their soft skills and problem-solving abilities.
In this post, we will look at the seven ways in which coding can help children improve their problem-solving skills.
Before we go any further, let's describe what we mean by "problem-solving". Problem-solving, in its most basic form, refers to a person's ability to deal with complicated or novel problems in an effective manner.
Let's take a look at some facets of problem-solving that coding facilitates:
- Defining a problem and planning its solution
- Decomposition of a problem
- Structuring of solutions
- Evaluating alternative solutions
- Implementing solutions
- Finding creative solutions
Defining a problem and planning its solution
Sometimes we rush to solve a problem before fully comprehending it, often resulting in shambles! Do you relate? To solve any problem, planning is crucial. Programming projects often require children to follow a systematic approach where they will first try to understand the problem from different angles, brainstorm potential options and then decide which is the most effective.
While using this approach in their programming projects, it would become second nature for them to understand a problem and plan for the solutions, allowing them to be smart problem solvers in life.
Decomposition of a problem
Decomposition is a key aspect of problem-solving and is essential to any problem-solving task that we can think of; mastering it would undoubtedly make your child smarter. Decomposition involves breaking down a problem into smaller tasks. It is always easier to complete smaller tasks and arrive at the solution.
In Cuemath’s Young Coders Program students have to develop projects as a part of the curriculum. In the first few steps, they try to understand what needs to be built and then they break it down into smaller components. Afterwards, they start coding for each of the components.
Here is an example of a project that our students have to create in a Game Development course. To code this, they decompose the project into the following steps:
- Step 1 - Setting the Theatre backdrop with the Ballerina
- Step 2 - Making the Ballerina dance to the Right
- Step 3 - Making the Ballerina dance to the Left
- Step 4 - Using the Spotlight backdrop and Clapping sound
Structuring of Solutions
After understanding and decomposing the problem into smaller steps. The next step is to structure the solutions. Structuring involves representing the solutions using diagrams, flowcharts, foreseeing barriers and difficulties. Programming also involves exact similar steps. Thus facilitating this aspect of problem-solving.
Evaluating Alternative Solutions
There are problems that have multiple solutions. Evaluating them and picking the most efficient solution is critical to problem-solving. In programming, there are a multiple ways of writing code for a given problem. Most of the time programmers evaluate what is the best possible solution and what is the most efficient piece of code that can solve the problem at hand. Doing this constantly will make this a routine.
In the images shown above, the programmer has to code for the farmer to fill the hole with shovels of mud.
There are two possible solutions to it.
Both the solutions are correct, but solution 2 is more efficient and clean as it has fewer lines of code.
Finding solutions is one aspect of problem-solving and implementing it is another. In a programming project after children have put down a logical solution, they need to go ahead and implement it in a way that the computer can understand, like abiding by the syntax of the programming language. This aspect of programming a project is teaching a crucial skill of applying their solutions to a real-world context in the best possible way.
Being resilient while solving a difficult problem can give positive results. Children learn resilience via troubleshooting, which is one of the most exciting aspects of learning to code. When they encounter an error, they must devise a workable plan. If the first solution fails, they find another. If it doesn't succeed, they they try again and again until the problem is resolved. Debugging is an aspect of programming that facilitates this. Children keep testing their code and if there are errors they fix them one by one until it is an error-free code thus making kids resilient and patient.
Finding Creative Solutions
Finding solutions is not merely enough. Finding creative and efficient solutions is a definite win. While solving any problem, finding a unique and creative solution can ensure that it is full proof. The solution doesn’t lead to another set of problems.
Let’s understand how coding allows children to enhance their ability to find creative solutions. After all, coding is all about making something unique. How awesome would it be to be able to create your own app or an animation? Children can use code to build projects that they are interested in. Children who learn to code increase their imagination and learn how to come up with their own solutions to problems. This is a valuable ability that extends well beyond the confines of a computer.
These are some of the top problem-solving techniques we've discovered from teaching 200,000 students in 20 countries. These skills are easily overlooked if they are not directly addressed by the instructor throughout the class, so we at Cuemath have included several innovative steps in our curriculum to overcome this. Experts agree that we are the world's leading math and coding educational network. Cuemath is internationally known for its outstanding learning outcomes.
At Cuemath we have a community of talented teachers who are applying the best practices focused on research to give your child sound fundamentals in computer science, critical reasoning, and artistic problem-solving abilities. Cuemath provides live 1:1 Live Online Coding classes and Math classes. Book a demo and get in touch with our academic counsellor to get the best course for your child.
Albert is an inquisitive math research student who is inspired by the philosophy of science and aspires to live a life with lucidity of mind, enduring a sense of fun, and transparent honesty. He discovered programming while doing math and fell madly in love with it. Since then, he has been deeply involved with it, even going so far as to pursue a part-time degree in programming and data science at IIT Madras. He is a gifted artist who enjoys drawing, painting, digital art, and animations, as well as a keen table tennis player and a great admirer of classical music.