PyCon UK

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Secret Arts of Teaching Coding to the Next Generation

The Secret & Undiscovered Arts of Teaching Coding to the Next Generation Successfully

Lilian Nandi

Sunday 16th, 16:30 (Room A)


A talk (25 minutes)

Computer Science is now the leading discipline of the 21st century. Computers and technology are now ubiquitous and prevalent in all sectors of society such as the arts, sciences, medicine, commerce, etc. Technology also plays a huge role in the world economy and the market capitalisation of the FAANGs' Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet’s Google along with a couple of other technologies is more or less equivalent to the GDP of Japan - the world's 3rd richest nation. Therefore, computer programming is now regarded as an essential skill for the young person, and it has been dubbed the ‘4th’ R’ (computer pRogramming) along with reading, writing and arithmetic.

In recognition of the new status of computer programming, governments worldwide have launched initiatives to have it taught in schools from Kindergarten through to junior school and all the way through secondary school.
So, the question emerges is how do we best teach the next generation in acquiring this skill? Given the fact that this field is very much in its infancy, there is very little pedagogy to guide the educator. Therefore, the whole world is learning how best to teach this subject by trial and error.

The talk will describe a case study whereby coding/computer programming, in the form of Python, was introduced to a group of 110 young people from the ages of 11 to 18 (Years 7-13 in an UK secondary school). The talk will include descriptions of the various teaching methodologies introduced to the young people for this purpose and the outcomes; the talk will also address various challenges and questions about how to teach programming to young people. The talk will conclude with helpful suggestions, based on the findings of the case study, on how to proceed with the teaching of computer programming to these people.


  • The speaker suggested this session is suitable for new programmers.
  • The speaker suggested this session is suitable for teachers.
  • The speaker suggested this session is suitable for data scientists.

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