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

 

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 Post subject: Teaching children coding is a waste of time, OECD chief says
Post Number:#1  PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 3:26 pm 
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Teaching children coding is a waste of time, OECD chief says

By , Education Editor

21 February 2019 • 19:11

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

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 That tool will be outdated very soon."

Comparing it to trigonometry, he said: "We are going to get into the same dilemma. I think is very important that we strike a better balance about those kinds of things.

"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.

A new National Centre for Computing was set up to train up the 8,000 new teachers in the subject. Computing became part of the national curriculum in 2014, and the GCSE in Information and Computer Technology (ICT) was axed in favour of a new qualification in computing which includes more coding and programming.

Speaking at the World Innovation Summit for Education in Paris, Mr Schleicher suggested that the importance currently placed on coding is part of a wider problem in education.

“Every day there is a new idea that we think is terribly important today, and we don't think the future will be different,” he said.

Mr Schleicher said a lot of topics taught in the past have no relevance in today's education system, and that the trick is to teach fewer things in greater depth.

He continued: "Trigonometry is a good example. If you ask a mathematician if trigonometry is the foundation of mathematics, they will tell you 'No, it's a specific application'. "So it has just survived because it used to be relevant in a specific historical context."

The global expert went on to say that education is a "very conservative social environment", and that society is very good at adding things to teach children, but not so good at taking away.

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

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “A high-quality computing education, as part of a broad and balanced curriculum, equips pupils to become digitally literate, at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in the modern digital world."

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