Saturday, August 12, 2017

Bloomberg View — Kids Should Know How to Code

The three r's plus c. Reading, writing, 'rithmetic, and coding.

Wholeheartedly agree. Digital natives need to be digitally literate.

I would a reasoning to the three r's.

Coding relates closely to reasoning in addition to acquiring symbolic literacy in a computer language. It is also a bridge to mathematical reasoning.

Bloomberg View
Kids Should Know How to Code
The Editors


Jim said...

Disagree. Kids should know the philosophy of democracy and the corrupting influence of power. Reading and writing, yes. Knowing how to code? Very far down the list.


Matt Franko said...

Yeah the beverages served in the coffee houses and the HVAC conditioners just magically appear by themselves....

Tom Hickey said...

We're taking basic skills involving literacy broadly speaking here, not educational theory or curriculum design. Basic skills are the building blocks on which a curriculum is based. If students can read with comprehension, forget pretty much everything else, and a lot of student now can't.

But educational theory and curriculum design are also foundational.

John Dewey is one of my favorite philosophers and educators and his Democracy and Education is seminal.

Dewey's progressive education was in opposition to the traditional rote method of teaching the three r's as not only basic but sufficient in elementary education, believing that other things were just a waste of time that could be better spent.

Dan Lynch said...

My daughter was writing HTML and Javascript at age 13. I helped her get started and then she learned the rest on her own. She is now employed doing internet marketing for a hotel chain, even though her college major was political science.

I always enjoyed coding -- because it was so logical -- and wish I had time to do more of it, though I did not pursue a career in coding because I couldn't get excited about sitting at a desk 40 hours a week.

As with human languages, computer languages are similar and once you learn one computer language, it's easier to learn additional languages. Anyone who is proficient at coding can pick up a new language in a couple of weeks.

Jim said...

@Tom - It doesn't seem to me we're disagreeing in any major way. Reading and writing are essential basic skills and so, I would argue (along I think with Dewey) is a far deeper understanding of our social system and democracy. Computer coding is a worthwhile skill but I don't see it as anywhere near as 'basic' as reading and writing. What, I wonder, should we drop if we're going to devote more time to the teaching of coding skills?

@Matt Franko - pretty ignorant statement

Tom Hickey said...

Jim, I would look at it in terms of teaching reasoning. Literacy as the ability to use symbols is a prerequisite. Living in the contemporary world requires being skilled in verbal and conceptual reasoning, and formal or symbolic reasoning which includes math and computer science.

I don't think it is a matter of replacement or substitution. The curriculum needs to be rethought and restructured as well as the whole delivery process including testing and credentialing. We still using an 18th century model long after the world has moved on.

In addition, I don't think a one model fits all is the answer. This is a large part of the problem. It advantages certain types of learners and disadvantages others. It's wasteful of resources.

Jim said...

Tom, I certainly agree that basic education must include skills in verbal and conceptual reasoning as well as basic math. I see computer science, though, as far down the list and reasonably left to those who wish to pursue it in college. (Or on their own per Dan Lynch.) A great many jobs don't require computer science skills - doctors, nurses, sales, coffee servers, HVAC repairmen, construction, liberal arts, and so on to include the majority of jobs in our country.

This is somewhat of a hot point for me as our public discourse is so full of what I take as the nonsense that what we need for a better society is ever more technology, innovation, and entrepreneurs. The truth IMO is that we have all the tech, innovation, and entrepreneurs we need; what we're in screaming need for is a far saner way to use and distribute them.

Jose Guilherme said...

How about basic accounting, including the interactions between central banks and commercial banks?

Kids would not only improve their logical and reasoning abilities but also understand how Fiat money is created - and would thus never ever believe we can run out of it.

Tom Hickey said...

Dewey's progressive education approach emphasized the pragmatic. Learn by doing useful things. For most of us this includes a lot of things they don't teach in school. What you should've learned but weren't exposed to.

Teach toward life rather than teaching toward the test, or credentialing. So teach basic skills in terms of how they can be used in life at the appropriate age level. Coding fits in here since it trains kids to think in systems. Accounting is a system. It can be used in teaching system thinking, math and coding. BTW, I would include spreadsheets in teaching both math and coding.

Grammar school kids pick up simple coding almost intuitively when it is presented in a way that interests them. I was talking to a friend recently and telling him how he should introduce his kids to coding. He said, Tom, they are way ahead of you. They picked this up themselves. Because it is fun. They are also great "engineers" using Legos.

Matt Franko said...

"We have all the tech we need"

Yeah sure:

Job Openings at all time highs

"Leading the way were sectors like construction, professional and business services, and trade, transportation and utilities – all of which posted their highest levels of vacancies since July of last year."