What comes to your mind when someone describes a building consisting of several rooms and probably a ground or two in the middle of it? Probably an abandoned or a redundant construction. Now if I elaborate and describe the same as a building consisting of several class rooms with teachers and students and probably a multi- purpose play- ground or two in the middle of it. I hope you understood that we are talking about school and if you didn’t, probably you didn’t go to one.
Schools are the building blocks of a nation’s future; it is the place where history is taught and created simultaneously. These Schools are occupied by young, enthusiastic minds longing to curate a world of their dreams. It is the earnest responsibility of teachers, lawmakers, administrators and parents to formulate and implement policies that aid students to turn into successful and empathetic individuals.
Recently, the question ‘Should coding be taught in schools?’ is doing the rounds. The argument for this proposal is that the times we live in are very different from the things that were prevalent few decades ago. A lot of this change can be attributed to the advent of technology. The education imparted to students in 2020 and the years ahead has to address these changes and adapt to the dynamic nature of the world around. While, others think that coding in schools is a very ambitious project and would lead to unhealthy competition and everybody is aware about the consequences of such competitions that exists amongst students and their parents.
In this blog we are set to find answers to the question ‘Should coding be taught in schools?’ We would discuss the invention, advent and utility of coding and its rising popularity of coding amongst students. Let’s get started!
The Art of Coding
Coding is the name given to the process of communicating with computers. It is basically expressing the application in one of the programming languages that are available out there. These programming languages that can be traced back to the 1950’s form the base of modern technology that we use today. Back then, coding was confined to a small group of enthusiastic technocrats and wasn’t very popular with the general public.
Fast forward to 2020 and coding is one of the most coveted skills that an individual longs to inculcate. A large number of people are running behind the promising career that coding promises to offer and its importance is accentuated during the pandemic because the IT industry registered tremendous growth even during the economic slowdown where major sectors were suffering. This perception of is not entirely wrong, coding is one of the most prospective careers to take. If you are looking for a field where you can excel and make a career in, coding is not a bad option. You can refer to this blog to read about the different ways to beat the job recession and make a successful career in coding.
There has been a rise in the number of online coding courses during the past few months for all age groups. Coding has become popular amongst a wide range of audience, starting from seven-year-old to young professionals in the industry itself, programming is the trend everyone wants follow. Apart from private businesses starting with online coding courses, there have also been a couple of government initiatives to promote coding especially amongst school children.
In this blog, we would talk about coding amongst younger children and our main objective would be to answer the question ‘should coding be taught in schools?’ Let’s begin our journey in finding out the right age of learning how to code, if there is any, and find out how would coding be effective in school. Let’s begin!
Coding in School: An Overview
Recently, the Indian government announced an educational policy that projects to incorporate a number of transformations in the existing education structure. One of the many changes in the new education policy was the introduction of coding in schools. This policy was initiated while schools were shut and hence it has not been practically implemented but it has been subject to much debate and discussion. This blog is also inspired from these debates and discussions and lacks real life examples and experience.
As talked about earlier, schools are the building blocks of nation and the world. It is the place where individuals learn the basics of education, starting from numbers and alphabets to the complex nuances of mathematics, physics and history and a lot of other subjects for a holistic development.
If coding would be introduced in schools, it would be a very fresh concept. It would be a new experience for teachers to inculcate the skill of coding in young minds who have just learnt counting numbers and reading short sentences. There are a couple of evident advantages of coding because of which all stakeholders of the education system are excited to adapt this new change and experience the joy of coding. Let us discuss the advantages of coding.
Benefits of Coding in School
An Interesting Change
It would be exciting for children to get introduced to the world of coding at such an early age. Coding can be a like a refreshing break for children in their normal schedule of learning contents from the conventional syllabus. It is believed that coding would keep children hooked to classes and prevent them from getting ‘bored’ or ‘discouraged’ from studies. Hence, coding can be a welcome change in the existing syllabus of our educational institutions for young minds.
A Logical Process
If anyone has ever set their mind on coding, they would know that it is not an easy job and is very different from all other professions and domains. Coding forces you to think in a certain direction. It trains your minds to think logically, efficiently and also creatively. We would talk about the creative aspect of coding in our next section but here we would talk about how practicing coding turns you into a logical individual. The whole process of reading a problem statement, finding a solution, implementing it and testing it rigorously turns you into a person who thinks in a structured and a logical way.
The Creative Thinking
Coding is also the future and that too a very bright one! Programming forms the base of the modern technology we use in our daily lives. Be it a high- end technological application, or one that forms an essential part of our lives or a software that connects people from across the world, coding forms that base of everything. Coding as a career is very promising and offers an illustrious career. Many professionals are turning to coding to upgrade their career and make a good name for themselves. If students are exposed to coding at a young age, they are at a better position to decide their final career option.
Enhances Mathematical Skills
Coding is a very logical process which also involves a lot of mathematics in most cases. While solving a programming problem, students might encounter a lot of problems where they would have to use mathematical skills to come to an efficient solution. Mathematics is an important aspect of coding and the process of learning how to code also makes the person efficient in the subject of mathematics along with augmenting their creative and logical thinking.
We have discussed a few advantages of coding which answers the question ‘should coding be taught in schools?’ in positive. However, just like everything, coding taught in school also has some glaring discrepancies which forces us to answer the question in negative. Let’s discuss the disadvantages of coding taught in schools.
Disadvantages of Coding
All of us are aware of the unhealthy competition that exists in schools. Be it grabbing the first position in class to entering the most prestigious institutions, excessive competition is a major part of a student’s life. Some educationists believe that making coding a part of the curriculum is going to introduce a new kind of competition which would in turn put more unnecessary pressure on the young minds. The main concern is that coding in school would be taken as another subject which the child will cram and try to secure maximum marks, the benefits of coding might not be translated in reality.
Over Ambitious Kids
Imagine a bunch of kids trying hard to remember the logic of writing a program that finds out the prime number or cramming the semi colons and the brackets. If this sight is not abhorrent enough, think about parents bragging about the apps their children made and then putting pressure on their children to outdo the others when it comes to coding and application development. We can just hope that even if coding is introduced in schools, young, happy kids do not turn into a bunch of over ambitious children.
In this blog we tried to answer the ‘Should coding be taught in schools?’. We have not come to a definite conclusion only because there isn’t any. Coding in schools is a wonderful idea and should be introduced to promote logical and creative thinking at an early stage in a student’s life. Coding is also going to help children in curating a successful career in the field of technology. However, we need to understand that not every child is the same and not every brain is designed to communicate with computers, some are designed to hold the paint brush, use the might of the pen, render medical service or find their own niche in this big, diverse world. Putting pressure on children to code will be a huge mistake we would do as parents and educators.
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