Sunday, October 26, 2008

Should computer programming be mandatory in US schools?

Friend and fellow troublemaker Bonnie Bracey Sutton got a discussion going on Facebook about an October 2 InfoWorld opinion piece asking "Should computer programming be mandatory in US schools?"

She was supporting that position, and I took a contrary position. I think programming is the wrong target. I don't think the goal is to make programmers, but to build an understanding about computational thinking and technical literacy. Teaching computer programming is one way to do that, but I don't believe it's the only way. And I think making it a mandae would cause more problems, and looking at how schools tend to deal with mandates, I believe making computer programming mandatory is just one more way to screw up education. It would be one more way that schools would believe they're doing all the right things to prepare students with 21st Century skills, and they'd miss the real point of teaching programming.

1 comment:

Mike Lowson said...

I agree with you programming should not be mandatory in US and I also like to add it should not be mandatory in any other schools in the world. Programing is like a art it comes from inside a programmer.
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