When considering a group coding class for your child, there are 3 things you should really watch out for! The long-term goal should be to teach your child how to become an independent self-driven learner, so creating the right environment to foster that confidence is important. In fact, these 3 things have nothing to do with curriculums or teachers, but they have everything to do with the group class!
The first pitfall that your child might face in a coding class with more than 4 students is lack of personalization. What's that mean?
Personalization refers to the customized path that is created specifically for your child. No two children are the same so it is obvious that in a big group class, your child may not be learning what they want to learn.
"Personalization was a common problem," says Preston Crowe, a University of Washington CS student who used to teach kids at a popular San Francisco-based kids coding school.
In a Minecraft coding class, one student might want to mod weapons and the other might want to build a castle. With more students in the class, it becomes difficult to ensure every student is doing what they want to do. In contrast, the problem is often completely solved with a private tutor.
Similar to personalization, knowledge gaps between students in group kids coding classes are common. Unless all the kids started the class at the exact same time, they are probably at different levels. Unlike Common Core subjects, coding knowledge gaps are likely bigger on average since there's less exposure elsewhere.
The problem appears on both ends too, meaning your child might be too beginner or too advanced compared to the other students. Preston adds to this, "Some advanced students were stuck doing things they already knew because there weren't enough instructors to focus on a particular student who was ready for more."
This is a well-documented problem across big schools in America. That's not to say a CS teacher can't handle 10 students, but you should see the class in action before deciding to sign up.
Imbalanced Boys-to-Girls Ratio
Unfortunately, biases still exist in the world we live in. If you are signing your daughter up for a Minecraft coding class, there is a decent chance that the class is made up of mostly boys.
Although that is beginning to change, this is something to watch out for. If your daughter is interested in coding, be on the lookout for a girls-only class or a private tutor.
Free Kids Coding Guide
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