The one problem with coding in schools

It’s obvious that coding is coming to schools strongly in different countries around the globe. This is all good and will give future generations more skills working with computers, right?

I see a problem here, which is programming transforming from something very creative to a factory job. When programming is introduced to schools in such a massive way, it’s clear that teachers haven’t had time to really dive in to that subject. Don’t get me wrong; some of them are. But can you really expect from older teacher to use hours of them free time to study world of programming with absolytely 0 pay for their time?

Due the lack of time, we can reason that teachers rely widely to available resources like code.org. But this setting also means that programming becomes more like

  1. Question
  2. The one and only solution.

In the ideal world, after learning basics, students would start to desing their own programs, something they find interesting. But if the teacher is not really familiar with the subject, it’s hard to support that. I admit that this may still be possible in simple training environments such as Scratch, but you can’t stay with these simple environments forever.

Here is the personal confession of this post: I have studied computer science alongside with mathematics in university and made some projects along the years. I’m sometimes embarrassed how little I know. So many programming languages. So many libraries in those languages I know. Many of those languages could be justified to be teached for young people. There is enormous difference with my other subject, maths: Students can’t ask me a math question that I couldn’t answer.

And what is the problem if people are programming like robots? The answer is that they will be replaced with robots. So studying only the basics of programming won’t pay off. And what about motivational effect? We really can’t say. It’s likely that some students will get carried towards coding and others from it.

We have to make sure that programming will stay as creative job as it is on its best. That is done by making sure that students have specialized teachers on their reach.

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