Students today are surrounded by more technology than any other generation, which has made people question the idea of if computer programing should be taught to children in lower grades.
Exposing students to coding from an early age helps them see that computers science is not just a mystical subject that only a few can learn and that cannot be intimidating as they think. It also helps break down stereotypes that the only people that work on computers are nerds that only sit in their mother’s basement and have no social life.
According to a New York Times article on teaching students coding “programming is highly creative: Studying it can help to develop problem-solving abilities, as well as equip students for a world transformed by technology.”
Kyle Bush, who is an electrical engineering major, stated that he believes learning programing before in grades kindergarten through 12 grade. “I do believe that learning programming in k-12 would have many benefits,” Blush said, “Computer programming has many benefits beyond the world of computer codes, it teaches you how to think.”
Bush said that he thinks that if he had taken any programing classes in school before college he knows it would have helped him in many areas in his engineering classes.
“The benefits would extend, not only to my C++ class, but also to many software applications in various other classes,” said Bush.
Teachers already have a set amount of lessons that they have to get through during the school year. By adding another core class such as computing programing it would add on to the stress that teachers already feel.
Kaitlyn Collier, who is an elementary education major offered the solution of having computer programing as an extracurricular activity or after-school club rather than an actual class. “This way students who are interested can participate and those who do not have interest in technology are not forced to participate,” Collier said.
By teaching a skill that is used in multiple fields in the public school system, will allow children that go to school in low income have a chance to learn a profitable skill. It could give children that normally would fall through the cracks a chance.
“With knowledge of computer programming there are many various and well-paying jobs available to those who would like to put their programming skills to work,” explained Blush. That way students have a skill that would be profitable in the job market in case something happens to were the student cannot pursue higher education.
Having the chance to learn a skill or try out a skill before going to college could help students decide if what they think they want to major in is really their vocation.
Blush said “If I had taken coding before college I might have chosen electrical engineering over mechanical, seeing how much I enjoy programming now that I know a little bit about it”
If teachers do not help develop curious minds in the computer science department then we could run out of people developing and creating new technology.