Research to Support Coding in Early Childhood Classrooms

I used to work in an education library, so I can admit that I'm a bit of a research nerd. I think it's exciting that education is part science, part art, and part advocacy. As a teacher I get to constantly evaluate, create, and connect - how many other professions combine all that on a daily basis?

According to the North Carolina Teacher Evaluation Rubric, a distinguished teacher "stays abreast of current research about student learning and emerging resources and encourages the school to adopt or adapt them for the benefit of all students." The good news is that there's plenty of research on coding in the classroom! The not-so-good news is that not all of it is relevant to early childhood, and some of it is paid-access.

I've made a list of interesting and applicable articles so that you don't have to comb through the internet - and best of all they're free for anyone to view. Click any of the links below to be taken directly to the article, and feel free to share this post with your administration if you're advocating for coding in your classroom or school.

Creative Thinking & Metacognition (First Grade)

Self-Monitoring (Preschool)

Language Arts Skills (Preschool, Kindergarten, First Grade)

Constructivism (3-Year-Olds and 4-Year-Olds)

Family partnership (4-Year-Olds through 7-Year-Olds)

Types of Programming Blocks Used (Kindergarten through Second Grade)

A general theme that emerges from this research, as well as research on teaching coding to older students, is that exposure to coding is not enough. We have to be purposeful in our teaching of coding, which includes planning lessons and planning collaborative opportunities.

Have a link to more great research on early coding? Share it in the comments!

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