Learning To Code Develops Creativity in Kids


Casey stares at his computer screen, carefully calculating his next move. As part of a school science project to create a simulation of the Earth’s tides, he has spent the better part of the hour trying to animate a moon orbiting the earth, a series of commands that is proving more complex than he had anticipated. But with every iteration and tweak, the determined sixth grader finds himself inching closer to his vision. Finally, he inputs -10 degrees on the X coordinate, 21 on the Y, and hits enter. He grins in giddy satisfaction as he watches his moon makes a perfect circle around the earth.

Casey’s story is one of many that illustrates how the process of learning to code is encouraging something that many believe to be the most important skill we can teach our kids: creativity. We’re all born with it. As kids, we embrace imaginative play, we ask questions, paint colorful pictures, and build elaborate things with our blocks, but somewhere along the way our capacity for creative thinking diminishes. It’s not because we lack the “creative gene”, we just haven’t reinforced it or, as researcher George Land concludes from his longitudinal study on creativity and divergent thinking, we have unlearned it. Read More