CoderDojo Guiding Principles and Philosophies

Although an open source movement, participating in the global CoderDojo initiative and forming a dojo involves respecting and committing to its ethos, principles, philosophies, and guidelines. The below content is from CoderDojo's main website.

Flipping the Classroom

Kids at Dojos should not be forced into standardized courses where everyone has to conform to the same standards at the same point in time. We can instead produce online content which can be accessed and assimilated by children at home which gives them an increase in their knowledge which they can then bring to the group and interact in a spontaneous manner except this time with a lot more knowledge already under their belt.

- YouTube: Salman Khan talking about the inverted classroom

It would great to create an open source and dynamic map of learning progression where kids can track their learning with a basic understanding of dependency (e.g. if you want to do relational database programming with SQL you need to have an understanding of HTML, PHP, SQL queries, PHPMyAdmin? and relational databases). You can see how Khan Academy has already created a map such as this for the subject of mathematics. Khan Academy Dashboard

Kids Teaching Kids

The most important thing is that kids teach kids much more effectively than a single mentor could ever impart knowledge. This is slightly terrifying for those trained in standard pedagogical methods. Instead, we need to utilize the grandma method of open encouragement with only limited structured lecture. These videos are really great and recommended by the movement's co-founder, Bill Liao.


An Open Source Movement

An open source movement such as CoderDojo has a classical long tail distribution curve, with a few key kids giving a lot and many giving a little (same with the mentors). This necessarily means there are large group sizes and a high turnover rate. It is therefore impossible to standardize the achievement of programming competence. Instead, content can be developed and circulated between dojos, allowing individual mentors to decide whether to operate completely open computer clubs or more focused courseware arrangements.

TED Talk: Institutions versus Collaboration - Clay Shirky

The intent of CoderDojo is to remain non-commercial. It is encouraged to give participants an overview of how you made your game. Talk about what tools you used and why you chose some tools over others. Talk about what technical challenges you faced. It would be really awesome if you wanted to help others build their own games or help you make yours better. But, it is not cool to ask people to buy your application at CoderDojo, for that you should ask them to contact you outside of CoderDojo.