Supporting writing skills through computer programming?

How Can Coding Improve Your Child’s Writing Skills?

I’ve been struck by recent arguments (like the one in the article above) about the link between the activity of coding, and of writing in classrooms.

I think there’s a danger in pushing the links too vigorously: for sure, the more logical, analytical kind of writing shares many characteristics with sequencing and compiling lines (or other forms) of code, but the best writing often exploits and subverts convention. Perhaps it is unfortunate that, in the example above, the analogy is primarily with creative writing. The approach being promoted leads to formulaic writing that I would propose should be challenged, not entrenched, when writing creatively.

I accept that, in the early stages of teaching extended writing, a formula – or scaffold – is helpful, but overdependence on scaffolding, as I’ve observed in English/ Language Arts teaching even up to senior secondary classrooms, is too restrictive to produce authentic writing, in my opinion.

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