In a recent study, Brigham Young University researchers taught Utah middle schoolers basic programming skills in twice weekly afterschool programs and measured a significant increase in math test scores after a few months. “We saw growth in certain math skills like functions and variables used in algebra,” said Geoffrey Wright, an associate professor in the technology engineering education program at Brigham Young University who conducted the research.
“It’s not enough to just teach kids some programming language and magically expect they’ll make the connection to math skills,” Schanzer said. “Teachers have to point out explicitly how functions taught in programming will be seen again in their math class.” If taught the appropriate computer language with a teacher well-versed in the curriculum, he added, students should be able to use a neurological process called transfer to quickly pick up novel math concepts that overlap with what they learned in programming.
Via Susan Einhorn