Kids Should Learn Coding, Like They Do Math and Reading

How a Tufts program is enriching the lives of young students around the nation

Literacy isn’t just about learning to read and write these days. Increasingly, knowing how to code is a valuable skill not just for those heading into high tech and scientific fields, but for everyone—and starting the younger the better.

Coding helps so that “we can really think in abstract, problem-solving, creative ways,” said Marina Umaschi Bers, professor and chair of the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development, and director of its DevTech Research Group.

Bers wants computer programming to reach everyone, starting in early childhood education. She’s introducing coding as a type of literacy in classrooms nationwide through the ScratchJr programming language and KIBO robotics for children five to seven years old—and taking the lessons on the road to classrooms from Watertown, Massachusetts to Norfolk, Virginia.

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