Learning Like a Little Leaguer: Applying David Perkins’ Seven Principles of Teaching in Craft With Code

In the ever-evolving world of education, innovative approaches to learning are essential to engage and empower students. Harvard Graduate School of Education Professor David Perkins, in his 2008 book “Making Learning Whole: How Seven Principles of Teaching Can Transform Education,” introduces a unique perspective on teaching and learning. Drawing inspiration from his childhood experiences in little league and “backyard baseball,” Perkins presents seven fundamental principles that can revolutionize education. These principles are not only applicable to traditional classrooms but also seamlessly integrate into hands-on learning experiences, such as Craft With Code courses, where learners build their skills through practical projects.

Learning from Little League:

David Perkins’ teaching philosophy, rooted in his childhood memories of playing baseball, serves as an apt framework for modern hands-on learning approaches like Craft With Code. In these courses, students acquire skills by actively building and creating, mirroring the “learning by wholes” concept that Perkins advocates.

Principle 1: Play the Whole Game

In Craft With Code courses, learners engage in creative coding projects from the outset. They don’t just study individual coding concepts in isolation; they apply these concepts to build real-world applications. This approach aligns with Perkins’ emphasis on experiencing the essence of a subject before diving into its intricacies. Just as young baseball players get a feel for the entire game before refining their skills, Craft With Code students learn the bigger picture of coding before focusing on specific techniques.

Principle 2: Make the Game Worth Playing 

In Craft With Code courses, learners not only find enjoyment in coding but also create functional apps that they can proudly share with friends, family, prospective employers, and investors. These courses prioritize hands-on experiences, guiding students to build real, relevant applications that align with their interests. This hands-on approach not only sparks motivation but also provides tangible achievements. Students showcase their creations to gain support and recognition, and the apps they develop become valuable additions to their portfolios, showcasing the practicality and real-world applicability of their coding skills.

Principle 3: Work on the Hard Parts 

Craft With Code students confront the challenging yet essential aspects of coding that extend beyond basic programming skills. While coding forms the foundation, the hard parts involve making code run correctly on a platform, such as a mobile device or a microcontroller, integrating it effectively into a larger system. This complexity requires not only coding expertise but also the ability to interface with the various hardware and software components of the device and the network it operates on. Learners tackle challenges that extend beyond just coding, gaining the know-how to access system resources and network, thus navigating the intricate web of contemporary technology.

Unlock the transformative power of hands-on learning with Craft With Code for AppInventor. Drawing inspiration from David Perkins’ seven teaching principles, we guide students to ‘play the whole game’ from the start, making learning engaging and relevant, and emphasizing targeted practice. Just as little leaguers benefit from understanding the game’s context, our approach ensures that students grasp the bigger picture before honing their skills. Join us to revolutionize hands-on learning and unleash your full creative potential.