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Code Generation: Kids Who Program Before They Can Read


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Artist's conception of a kindergarten coder.

Schools in England this month will begin teaching children ages five and up how to code.

Credit: Jon Reinfort

Schools in England this month are embarking on one of the most ambitious efforts in the ongoing campaign to teach children to code. Going forward, all children ages five and up will be taught how to code, with those older than 11 being taught multiple programming languages.

Programming will become a fundamental plank of British primary and secondary education, alongside literacy and numeracy. The curriculum for the new courses is being designed with help from the Royal Academy of Engineering, as well as Microsoft and Google.

The move is in part a response to a call from the tech sector for more qualified coders, with experts pointing out that even with increasing graduation rates in the computer sciences, most do not come out with the depth of experience seen in those that have been independently playing with and teaching themselves coding from an early age.

Advocates also say learning to code will be foundational for surviving in the modern world, and note it teaches extremely valuable skills beyond the ability to code, such as abstract thinking, the ability to learn and tinker on one's own, and the thoroughness one needs to create bug-free programs.

From New Scientist
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Abstracts Copyright © 2014 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


 

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