Author Shani Nunkumar provides her views on programming in education
From my experience as a teacher of Computer Studies and advising on Information Technology (IT), I taught my learners with one motto:
To know programming, you need to do programming
The teaching methodology employed in the classroom is very important especially when laying the foundation for programming. Learners must be given the opportunity to construct a solution to a problem in the form of a flowchart, pseudocode or a program. Learners must be given the opportunity to trace through flowcharts, pseudocode or programs. Tracing skills allow learners to pick up and correct their own mistakes – in this way enhancing learning. Learners should also be given the opportunity to implement their solution in a programming language and allow learners to debug their own code. Teaching in this way, develops problem solving and analytic skills.
Learners must be given at least one or two challenging examples in every sub-topic not only at the end of the topic. This builds computational skills.
Shani is a Deputy Education Specialist in Information Technology, Computer Applications and BCM subjects at the Ilembe District Office. She has many years of experience as a High School educator and at a TVET college. She is also a subject advisor for Computer Studies/Information Technology and Computer Applications Technology. Shani’s qualifications include JSEd in Mathematics and Accounting, a BSc r, Bed and Certificates in Java and Dephi Programming.
She is an author / co-author on over 20 computing text books (for South Africa as well as several other African countries) ranging from computer applications, programming as well as coding and robotics titles.