Should Schools Mandate Computer-Coding Classes? asks Fawn Johnson on National Journal.
Chicago Public Schools will offer introductory computer science at every high school by the end of next year. Soon, computer science will be a graduation requirement, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said at the Internet World of Things Forum.
Los Angeles also is expanding computer science classes in public high schools.
Both cities are following the lead of Code.org, a nonprofit bankrolled by tech giants such as Microsoft and Google, writes Johnson. In December, Code.org will launch a campaign to promote its “hour of code” tutorials.
She wonders if students will learn programming — or just keyboarding.
Second, what do the students think they are getting from these courses? Do they expect to go to Silicon Valley and find a job? Not everyone wants to grow up to be a computer programmer, which means that in Chicago, a sizable chunk of students who will be required to learn computer code may also need to understand why they should care. Do teachers have an answer?
Third, will students be able to get the full benefit of a computer-science course if they aren’t already up to speed on other core subjects like math and physics?
I’m very dubious about teaching coding to everyone, including the many students who’ve never mastered middle-school math.