This article follows that in which I wondered about the nature of coding.
I will speak about what, in my opinion, coding can bring to us, besides being learned how to give instructions to a machine. I will start with an analogy between coding and telling, because these reflections have followed a conversation on this particular topic.
A storyteller knowing to code…
The tale, before even of speaking about its form, answers a problem: how to prevent that little girls are eaten, that children let themselves attract by what shines or smells the caramel, how to make so that they are obliging, benevolent,… in short, how to educate in the sense that us (the company, the religion,…) let us wish?
Let us decode the solution which was found a long time ago to this problem of education: showing by example (more striking possible preferably) what occurs if one follows (or not) the rule which one wants to propose.
Small gymnastics of the storyteller:
- I identify the point (problem) which I want to approach (e.g. one should not trail only the evening in a bad corner)
- I identify the situation which will carry best the my example (e.g. a dark drill, a wolf which eats everyone,…)
- I create an ideal character to live this situation (e.g. a little girl sharp and adventurous and which makes any only at its head) I put all works about it so that the reader (listener) sticks to this character, even is identified with him, so that its adventures are well memorized. I draw of them contours and the character traits the best possible one, preferably by the actions rather than by the words. (e.g. one can say that such young girl is generous, but if one sees it drawing water to give to drinking with an old woman, it is much more speaking)
- I then unroll the red carpet of my history: obviously, which is more fears arrives, the character is saved or not, by his own or not, it is according to.
It is seen here that the code is not initially the structure of the tale such as the dramatic diagrams show it to us (initial situation, disturbing elements,…), but the way to satisfy a need first.
I set the example of an educational need, but one can want to tell to transmit an emotion, to share an experiment.
But if there is a code, is there still creativity?
In fact, what is to be creative?
- It is to know to recognize what one wants to appease, to solve, to show.
- It is to make the turn of its problem, to apprehend all the constraints of them.
- It is to consider solutions, to surf in a tree structure of possibilities, then to build.
One often speaks about originality, or seek it, or one deplores the lack of it. I think that the originality is not in the result of a creative work, but well in the way which leads to a solution, because it implements resorts which are only oneself’s (those of a group of people if work is collective).
The logical routes, the bringings together which one makes to understand and solve a problem, are the fruit of strange crossings: what one lived, which one learned, which one observes by seeking the solution, which the others bring to us.
Code and teaching
I am persuaded that the training of the programming is a unique chance to modify the way of seeing pupils, of teaching. It is a new matter, it does not have yet on it all the prejudices which one can have on the others. It is still time to invent its methods of teaching. It can be the place of a greater freedom for the pupils and the professors.
Because in programming there is not only one good answer, because before the professor himself pronounces it, there is the machine response, because the programming is a advance and not a stagnation point, it have some immense quality teaching.
Beyond the utility aspect of the data-processing language, to approach coding (by any means) will give chances equal to each child, because this matter learns how to think and to project, it is positive, active and, which is remarkable, the act of reflection has an action on reality.
All that coding teaches can be applied to each matter and all the life.
To teach coding, it is to give the children more than one possible trade in data processing: powerful levers on the world which surrounds them.
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