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Why Isn't Computer Programming Taught In All Schools? Answered

Seriously, why isn't computer programming taught in all schools all over the world. I mean, people that want to learn it have to do it the hard way, at home. But in America, they are taught it if they want to. So why can't it be taught all over the world. Is it because not many people know how to do it. Or is it just that schools don't want to.

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ll.13 (author)2009-04-18

Because there isn't high demand? at the moment the extremely vast amount of free (or other) software available is phenomenal. What is much better is that schools teach people how use a computer, basic maintenance, general rules of netiquette and most importantly how to use Google and a website search function.

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lemonie (author)2009-04-17

Most people use computers, not that many program them.
Is cooking taught in all schools? Woodworking? Use of PABX?

L

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Kiteman (author)lemonie2009-04-17

Cooking, sewing and "technology" (woodwork, metal work, basic soldering etc) are now taught in all schools, at least to age 13.

Both my boys made simple mazes, using saws and glue-guns, at primary school.

I understand that basic html-type stuff is taught as part of ICT lessons, but (as you say) most of the work is put into using the software, and usually that software is Microsoft's office stuff.

Here's a thought, though - MFL is no longer compulsory in schools, so maybe that slot in the timetable could be replaced with a programming language?

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lemonie (author)Kiteman2009-04-17

Ha, yes I think it's rather English to assume that if you need to learn a foreign language you'll do that in your own time, because most foreigners who have an interest in talking to you will know English better than you'd know theirs.

Years ago when (you know) people could/would teach basic programming (in BASIC) but there's too much material these days, and like welding to be of any real use it's a speciallised rather than general skill. I have a mind to think that people did think that more people would be programmers when things like the ZX- machines came out, so they saw value in it. But we haven't made houses of the future based on the Z80...

L

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Kiteman (author)lemonie2009-04-17

I had a ZX81, and had a mind to "learn computers". Unfortunately, my school wouldn't let me do it at O-level. They mad me do German, and said I could do ICT at A-level. Two years later, they wouldn't let me do the A-level because I hadn't done the O-level. I've barely typed a line of code in the 20+ years since.

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lemonie (author)Kiteman2009-04-17

I spent a lot of time on the ZX81 - the big manual told you how it worked, and it was simple enough to understand (although I never bothered with Z980 machine-code).

For schooling I think logic and abstract thinking should be on the syllabus, useful in so many things.

L

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Kiteman (author)lemonie2009-04-17

There is a move in schools to bring back thinking skills in a lot of subjects. In science, assessment is being altered to give more weight to science skills - evaluation of evidence etc - than to the actual knowledge. The skills alone are "worth" as much as the facts of physics, chemistry and biology together. The changes are in their early stages, but I feel we may have gone too far with the altered priorities.

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NachoMahma (author)Kiteman2009-04-18

. Is that the same thing as critical thinking? If so, even just one semester of formal training would make a big difference. The old "give a man a fish..." deal.

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Kiteman (author)NachoMahma2009-04-18

There's some common ground, but it's not treated as a separate subject.

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whatsisface (author)Kiteman2009-04-18

We were taught it as a subject, but only for one term, then we did "Classical civilizations". I think this was year 9.

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whatsisface (author)Kiteman2009-04-17

We have a section to our current Physics AS Level (New spec) called "How science works" which detracts from mere facts and instead asks you how to test a hypothesis that you are given. I like it, easy marks.

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Kiteman (author)whatsisface2009-04-17

Haha, I saw that. I'd love it, actually (2-3 days a week in the City, the rest of the week's my own), but I only qualify on grounds of enthusiasm.

In fact, I have considered starting up an advisory business, but I can't currently justify the financial risks.

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whatsisface (author)Kiteman2009-04-17

Do you mean along the lines of: "I've had this idea for x, will it work and how could it be done?" ? IIRC squid labs started out doing exactly that, as well as building the odd prototype for them. That'd be pretty sweet to be able to do, but I suppose it's a fair point about the money needed :-/

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lemonie (author)Kiteman2009-04-17

You mean, that you might actually be able to move away from point-scoring and targets, towards teaching people real skills and knowledge? (I hope so, and I know the sentence doesn't read correctly) L

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Kiteman (author)lemonie2009-04-17

Unfortunately, no.

"Tracking progress" is being given a much higher priority than in the past, and now schools are judged not only on exam results, but on whether every single pupil makes a certain amount of progress every year.

There is no consideration given to the possibility that some kids peak early, have home troubles that put them off track for a while, or simply have low ability, so if a school cannot give documented evidence for every child's progress on at least a termly basis, an ofsted inspection could be triggered.

I'm sure you can see how some subjects will find themselves spending more time on assessment than in the past, despite all non-government experts agreeing that the UK education system assesses too much.

In my own school, the number of formally-assessed activities in science will be rising by about 50% over the next year or two.

I'm sure you can also see that I am not exactly in full agreement with the government's ideas.

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lemonie (author)Kiteman2009-04-17

It's still some form of points and targets then. Bummer.

L

yes

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Rock Soldier (author)2009-04-16

Because, they want us to learn "Important" things, like, how to divide fractions, when some of us have jobs that have nothing to do with fractions.

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Kiteman (author)Rock Soldier2009-04-17

...some of us have jobs that have nothing to do with fractions.

So, you never share anything?

Far more people (ie everybody) needs to know basic maths like fractions than need to know how to programme.

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Electrical Circut (author)2009-04-16

Yea, but what about people that want to learn computer programming.

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bumpus (author)2009-04-16

There is a few computer programming/maintenance classes that my school offers. :D

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Lithium Rain (author)bumpus2009-04-16

Sadly, they cut English to make room for those classes.

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bumpus (author)Lithium Rain2009-04-16

Actually they cut down the welding classes.. :/

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Lithium Rain (author)bumpus2009-04-16

(Because you used terrible grammar there :D ) D: Oh noes! Not welding! :-(

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