Blog #2

Should Kids Learn to Code in Grade School?

Summary

There is no question that students should learn code. They live in a computer age and should learn to speak the language. Sheena Vaidyanathan states that the true question is at what age should students first learn to code. As of right now, most people do not learn to code in school and those who do are predominately male, as indicated by a new program called “Girls Who Code”. Some schools have begun teaching students as young as fourth grade how to code and have found that girls at that age have no qualms against coding. It seems that in elementary school and early middle school, girls have not been influenced by the stereotypes that prevent them from trying computer programming later in life. School programs have found that, at young ages, family income, gender and other stereotypes do not influence student’s abilities or interest in programming.

 

Q1: What is your opinion on the issue in this article?

I agree that more kids should learn how to code and that it’s going to become more and more crucial as we move further into the digital age. Even if these students only use it to program excel spreadsheets, a basic knowledge is still required. There are a few problems that get in the way of students coding in elementary school. First, math courses have not reached a level where students are truly learning logic and problem solving skills required for code. I am currently working with a programming teacher at a high school to make a video to show to students about programming class. This teacher believes that students need to have taken algebra and he doesn’t even suggest the class to lower level math students. In contrast, earlier starts in programming might help more students understand math and it’s uses. Earlier starts in learning to code could benefit student’s education as a whole.

The biggest issue I see with teaching elementary school children how to code is one of supply and demand. As far as I know, not a lot of teachers know how to code well enough to teach it. Math and computer science may go hand in hand but one must study each to really be able to teach it. There simply aren’t a lot of teachers who have studied computer science. It will be difficult to change that because there is so little money in teaching compared to most jobs in the computer science sectors.