Should students be pushed to learn coding at school?
From September, every child in England will have to learn computer programming. This initiative has been announced by Education Secretary Michael Gove to ensure that every child gets a solid grounding in 'the language of the future'. From as young as five, pupils would learn to code and program, and from age 11, children would be taught at least two programming languages. But should computer programming be taught as a core subject in schools? Are teachers well trained and experienced in teaching coding?
2 experts have answered
I tend to think that law does not automatically create behavior.
I mean that you've to want to do something. While, if anyone forces you to do something, one of the outcomes might be you really doing it, the other might be you hating it, even though forced. This is one of the reasons why so many students hate school, as we know it today: because they do not want to be schooled, but they simply must: they just have no choice.
So this decision from the Secretary might produce multiple results:
- some students will learn to code and will be happy with that
- some of them will learn to code and will not be happy with that anyway
- some of them will try to steer away from coding because they didn't like it, or the teacher was not sufficiently trained etc.
PS: I personally teach (and learn :-) ) coding with my students. We're not forced to do that and we're all really happy with it.
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You are right to raise the issue of teacher training Laura. Coding is new to most staff I teach and support is definely needed. It's why the Scratch Pack I developed includes half a day onsite training.