Teaching children coding is a waste of time, OECD chief says

Teaching children coding is a waste of time, the OECD’s education chief has said, as he predicts the skill will soon be obsolete. The Telegraph reports.

Andreas Schleicher, director of education and skills at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, said that the skill is merely “a technique of our times” and will become irrelevant in the future.

“Five hundred years ago we might have thought about pen literacy,” Mr Schleicher said. “In a way coding is just one technique of our times. And I think it would be a bad mistake to have that tool become ingrained.

“You teach it to three-year-olds and by the time they graduate they will ask you ‘Remind me what was coding’. That tool will be outdated very soon.”

“For example, I would be much more inclined to teach data science or computational thinking than to teach a very specific technique of today.”

The Government has championed the teaching of coding and computing skills, with the Chancellor allocating £84 million to treble the number of computing science teachers in 2017’s Autumn Budget.  

Mr Schleicher said a lot of topics taught in the past have no relevance in today’s education system. 

“The trick is to teach fewer things at greater depth – that is really the heart of education success,” he said.

Read more Teaching children coding is a waste of time, OECD chief says

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