Recent reports that children aged seven to sixteen are being given the opportunity to learn how to code in schools in Estonia (see links at the bottom of this article) have created quite a stir and the Guardian is now polling its readers on whether UK school children be taught programming as part of their school day…
School children in Estonia will be one step ahead of their UK counterparts in digital literacy this September as 100% of publicly educated students will learn to code.
As part of a new education programme, ProgeTiiger, first graders this Autumn in pilot schools (starting from aged seven) will be able to sign up for classes in computer programming.
Should primary school children in the UK be offered the same as part of the curriculum? Following the Guardian’s digital literacy campaign this year, a number of readers said a radical overhaul to the way information and communication technology (ICT) is taught in schools is needed.
John Naughton, professor of the public understanding of technology at the Open University, penned his vision for primary school children earlier this year:
Starting in primary school, children from all backgrounds and every part of the UK should have the opportunity to: learn some of the key ideas of computer science; understand computational thinking; learn to program; and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of excellence in these activities.
And commenter judithg66 wrote:
“It would be good to see kids learning to code, but also learning some of the broader skills associated with computer science, for example, how to design software that is easy and enjoyable to use? How to involve users in the design process? And quite simply, in terms of coding, how to write simple, clear, logical instructions (a skill that would translate to a lot of other domains!).
“It would also be great if we could do this in a way that young people find engaging and motivating: there’s no point in teaching them to code if they are turned off by it forever”