Education is as much about skills as knowledge. Across all subject areas, children need to be able to think critically, to solve problems and to use language to describe findings or present an argument. They also need to develop the type of inquiring minds that will naturally take them deeper into subjects.
Robotics is one subject that fosters these key skills for learning. By designing, making and operating all kinds of robots, children learn complex concepts in an engaging, hands-on way. The subject does not stand alone, but calls on other important areas of learning, such as maths, literacy and art. At the same time, it cultivates essential competencies for science and technology, such as data logging, process learning and critical thinking.
Worldwide research has shown that knowledge alone is not enough to prepare our learners for working and living in the 21st century. A study done by the Partnership for 21st-century Skills (people from the business community, education leaders and policymakers) defined a set of essential skills which are now known as the 21st-century skills. They are the following:
- three Rs – reading, writing, arithmetic
- four Cs – critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration
- two Ms – metacognition (thinking about your own thinking), motivation
While the three Rs have always been taught in schools, very little attention has been given to developing the other six skills.
On top of that more and more people believe that coding is a new language and that every child deserves to be fluent in it.