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How Early Should Kids Learn To Code? 299

Posted by samzenpus
from the diapers-and-distros dept.
the agent man writes "Wired Magazine is exploring how early kids should learn to code. One of the challenges is to find the proper time in schools to teach programming. Are teachers at elementary and middle school levels really able to teach this subject? The article suggests that even very young kids can learn to program and lists a couple of early experiments as well as more established ideas including the Scalable Game Design curriculum. However, the article also suggests that programming may have to come at the cost of Foreign language learning and music."
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How Early Should Kids Learn To Code?

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  • logic (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 27, 2013 @08:13AM (#44969229)

    learning logic skills should be well in advance of coding. i do think our society waits too late on that.
    that alone could improve lots of things out side of computer programming as well.

    • by DragonTHC (208439)

      agreed.

      Start with the PB&J robot.

      Pretend to be a robot and have your kid give you instructions on how to make a PB&J sandwich.
      When they skip a step in the algorithm, you simply respond, "HOW?"

      This is probably the easiest lesson in programming and a great place to start because it forces you to think in pseudocode.

      Perfect for a five year old.

  • If not sooner.

  • by raymorris (2726007) on Friday September 27, 2013 @08:19AM (#44969263)

    Preschoolers can start learning 90% of programming - thinking clearly, being specific about what you mean, looking at HOW things work. I was actually coding BASIC around third grade I guess, but code is a small part of programming.

    Pre-setting a macro in a toy truck is programming, and develops the skills - breaking down a desired outcome into specific steps, trying it and then making refinements, etc.

    • Perhaps I should add programming a calculator to display 80085 to my CV (that's a resume for those across the pond)
  • My Experience (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday September 27, 2013 @08:21AM (#44969285) Journal
    I was 7 when I learned to program. We had one lesson a week taught by the school's headmaster on whatever he thought was interesting, and so he taught some programming in BASIC[1] on the BBC Model B. He also taught some geometry using Logo on the same machine. It was connected to a big TV (which, by modern standards, is a small TV), and he'd ask the class to describe the program and he'd type it. After school and at lunch and break times there were a few of these machines that we could use, and I learned a bit more. I asked my father to teach me a real language, and he taught me PL/M86 (which I still miss sometimes), and I then moved on to C[2].

    When I got to university, I discovered how much of the theoretical side I was missing. The main problem with teaching programming at an early age is that it really needs to be accompanied by teaching logic and then game and graph theory. I've seen classes that do this well for under-10s, but they're very rare.

    [1] The Dijkstra comment that teaching BASIC should be a criminal offence doesn't really apply to BBC BASIC, which had full support for structured programming, an integrated assembler, and direct access to memory-mapped hardware.
    [2] Back then, you really needed makefiles because there was no equivalent to a modern compiler driver. Compilation, assembly, and linking were all separate, manual, steps.

    • by jittles (1613415)

      I was 7 when I learned to program. We had one lesson a week taught by the school's headmaster on whatever he thought was interesting, and so he taught some programming in BASIC[1] on the BBC Model B. He also taught some geometry using Logo on the same machine. It was connected to a big TV (which, by modern standards, is a small TV), and he'd ask the class to describe the program and he'd type it. After school and at lunch and break times there were a few of these machines that we could use, and I learned a bit more. I asked my father to teach me a real language, and he taught me PL/M86 (which I still miss sometimes), and I then moved on to C[2].

      When I got to university, I discovered how much of the theoretical side I was missing. The main problem with teaching programming at an early age is that it really needs to be accompanied by teaching logic and then game and graph theory. I've seen classes that do this well for under-10s, but they're very rare.

      [1] The Dijkstra comment that teaching BASIC should be a criminal offence doesn't really apply to BBC BASIC, which had full support for structured programming, an integrated assembler, and direct access to memory-mapped hardware. [2] Back then, you really needed makefiles because there was no equivalent to a modern compiler driver. Compilation, assembly, and linking were all separate, manual, steps.

      I learned to read on the computer. We got an Apple-II when I was ~3 years old (I am dating myself now). My older siblings would use the BASIC interpreter built into the device to make it scroll "Jittles sucks" infinitely, things like that. By 5 I was doing the same thing back to them. It's amazing what a little sibling rivalry can do. I started checking out programming books from my elementary school library by the time I was 8. I don't even know whether an elementary school library has such books whe

    • by Bigbutt (65939)

      My daughter started when she was 8 using Logo and turtle graphics (IBM Logo) on my PC. She's 35 and a DBA in New York now :)

      [John]

    • Re:My Experience (Score:4, Insightful)

      by beaverdownunder (1822050) on Friday September 27, 2013 @09:11AM (#44969741)

      > [1] The Dijkstra comment that teaching BASIC should be a criminal offence doesn't really apply to BBC BASIC, which had full support for structured programming, an integrated assembler, and direct access to memory-mapped hardware.

      BBC BASIC was good, but even Microsoft BASIC was better than nothing. Saying you shouldn't teach kids how to cook unless you're teaching them fine cuisine is stupid.

    • by gtall (79522)

      I learned when I was 20. I never felt that learning at a younger age would have done anything for me. Rather, I valued the emphasis on math and reading which gave me an attention span of days if it was a difficult problem instead of seconds and throwing my hands up.

      I guess I don't see the utility of teaching kids programming while they are young, but then I only have one data point to go on. I know from teaching logic that I would much rather the students had a good math background and the ability to think

  • All it taught me was to hate classical music, which took a while to get over. I've a feeling that the same might happen with programming. IMO: make logic a mandatory course in elementary school and then offer real CS courses in high school. None of this business with "and here's how you use excel, now go play on Facebook little Johnny"
    • by Xest (935314)

      Yes, I think this is a bigger problem with schooling in general. The problem, at least here in the UK, is that you have to follow these subjects for years, even if they're worthless to a particular kid because they have zero interest in them and nothing will get them interested in them at that age.

      I learnt nothing from music, drama (acting), French, German, and English literature when I was a kid, they were complete and utter wastes of my time.

      Schools should be allowed to spot kids that have zero interest i

      • by sjames (1099)

        Some blame has to fall on the teachers and the official curriculum that hamstrings them. If they present the subject in a bone dry manner, they will completely fail to capture the interest of any student who isn't already interested. If they are not prepared to take a different approach than the average, there will be kids that will miss out on the initial ah-ha experience that allows them to appreciate the rest.

        I do agree that if a subject has failed to capture their interest, harping on it for the next se

  • ASAP (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Thanshin (1188877) on Friday September 27, 2013 @08:27AM (#44969339)

    Programming on itself isn't so useful, but learning to divide and organize a complex idea into it's base elements is one of the biggest flaws of the existing curricula. Almost no effort is done in that direction before kids reach college ages and not even for all kinds of degrees, at that point.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 27, 2013 @08:28AM (#44969347)

    Jesus Christ. It's disgusting to see all of these comments saying "early", or "by the time they're 4", or something along those lines. Jesus Fucking Christ!

    Kids should learn to code IF AND ONLY IF THEY WANT TO, AND ONLY WHEN THEY WANT TO .

    Forcing it on them surely won't help. It'll just alienate them from it.

    If a kid wants to learn to code, and expresses this interest, then provide him or her all of the support that's possible. Otherwise, bugger off and leave the kid alone. Just how nerdy kids don't like to be subjected to football and other sports against their will, athletic kids very likely don't want to be subjected to computer programming against their will.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No, just plain wrong.

      The idea that kids should only learn about or do things that they explicitly present an interest in is simply retarded. Kids should be exposed to all kinds of different things, because if you don't expose them to all the things they'll have no clue which of them they are interested in, or find fun.

      Sure, there comes a point where if your kid is going "daddy daddy, I want to go windsurfing" you shouldn't tell them "no, we're going to program for the next 3 weeks", but that doesn't mean t

    • > Kids should learn to code IF AND ONLY IF THEY WANT TO, AND ONLY WHEN THEY WANT TO .

      Er... I guess they should only learn math, English, history, geography and whatever else IF AND ONLY IF THEY WANT TO as well. Imagine the education cost savings if we only taught children what they wanted to learn!

      We teach children what they need to know, and _what we need them to know_ to further our economy. Our future economy needs more children to know how to code, at least as much as they need to know history, geogr

    • IF AND ONLY IF THEY WANT TO, AND ONLY WHEN THEY WANT TO

      My favorite subjects are Lunch, Nap, "Free Play"/Gym, and Sex Ed., which I believe are in line with all of humanities favorite activities.

      (Bonus points for a Pip & Flinx reference to the Ulru-Ujurrians, the advanced race who simply wants to "eat, sleep, mate, and play games".)

  • by geekmux (1040042) on Friday September 27, 2013 @08:29AM (#44969349)

    Tossing programming courses in the curriculum is a wise idea, but now one has to balance the value add across the entire group if you're going to remove things like foreign language skills or music, both of which I see offering a considerable challenge to the value argument.

    I highly doubt the person wanting to visit a foreign country will be praising the fact they have excellent programming skills at age 17, and yet find they cannot communicate.

    Ask any programmer. 99% of them cannot live without music. It can help feed the creative mind that job demands. Learning about various kinds of music and their benefits (such as classical music impact on brain wave activity) rather than growing up shoehorned into the top pop/YouTube culture can be key to unlocking the potential of the creative mind.

    • There's actually an interesting reason for why having music on helps us focus better. Since we have two sides of the brain, one is working and the other is always on the lookout for danger. So any other distraction - noise, light, people outside your door - interrupts both halves in prep for fight or flight. (It's a bear! No, wait, it's just George from accounting burping. Ew.)

      Putting on music tunes out the distractions for the 2nd half, allowing the first half to hum along uninterrupted.
      • I actually find that I have a very difficult time focusing on programming if the music has any lyrics. Or were we talking about instrumental stuff?

    • > Tossing programming courses in the curriculum is a wise idea, but now one has to balance the value add across the entire group if you're going to remove things like foreign language skills or music, both of which I see offering a considerable challenge to the value argument.

      Why does anything need to be removed? And shouldn't parents be given the option to decide if their child learns to learn music, a foreign language, or computer programming?

    • I highly doubt the person wanting to visit a foreign country will be praising the fact they have excellent programming skills at age 17, and yet find they cannot communicate.

      When I was in Germany, I had just finished my degree in Computer Engineering so programming was fresh in my mind. I was also fluent in Spanish. Communication was done in English and 'Bitte Danke Bitte, der Rechnung bitte' since I didn't meet a single person in Germany who knew Spanish.

      (That said, I agree with your point.)

    • There are truly extraordinary programmers who not only don't listen to music while they code, they don't listen to music at any time. They don't see the point. I don't put myself in the extraordinary programmer bucket, but I have only the most superficial and passing interest in music. For example, I never have it on when I'm coding. I feel that it distracts me slightly and that I want all my mental resources available to focus on the problems I'm working on.

      Everyone thinks their specialty or interest is so

  • by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Friday September 27, 2013 @08:29AM (#44969353) Homepage Journal
    We had a computer class once a week when I was in Kindergarten (1984-1985 to put it in perspective). We would type out small, prewritten LOGO programs and afterwards would discuss what they did and how our programs went wrong. We even had this little tank like robot in which you would input LOGO commands and it would move like the turtle would on the screen. It was what got me interested in everything programming and computers
    • Well, at least one person's trying to fix it.

      Dude's (rather successfully) Kickstarting a LOGO-esque boardgame [kickstarter.com] for the purpose of teaching kids the fundamentals of programming. He says it's for 3+, and has played it with his own 4-year old kids. Because it's pictorial, they don't even need to be able to read to start learning basic logic.

  • That's fairly easy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Friday September 27, 2013 @08:29AM (#44969355)

    As soon as they're interested in it. Simple as that.

    Huh? That doesn't fit into your curriculum? Then I think it's time you ponder whether your curriculum has a problem or whether you want to continue making it the kids' problem.

    • by the agent man (784483) on Friday September 27, 2013 @09:17AM (#44969813)
      No, that does not work. The Scalable Game Design project - discussed in the article - is specifically addressing the problem of broadening participation, e.g., the lack of interest in CS by girls. In other words, the lack of interest is precisely the problem. Our research (with over 10,000 students from all around the USA) suggests that MOST students, boys and girls, CAN be interested in CS through games and can advance from games from STEM simulations. Also, Scalable Game Design is a curriculum, not an afterschool program, that has been integrated into middle schools and even some elementary schools. The key is to 1) find time in existing curriculum to get started (e.g., in keyboarding and powerpointing types of courses) and to 2) transition to relevant STEM topics by teaching kids how to create science simulations. This is part of the new Next Generation Science Standards.
      • We're interested, it's just that very few of our toys encourage it. As a young girl I had to beg for "boy toys" - things like lego kits and kinex - because no one made anything like it for young girls. (My father still gave me a doll every year for Christmas, much to my disappointment. My mother was a bit more on board with it.) That's changing a little - Lego now has toys for girls, and a new company called Goldieblox has made narrated engineering toy kits for girls as well.

        The closest I got to lea
      • by csumpi (2258986)

        e.g., the lack of interest in CS by girls

        Maybe girls are just not interested, like my son is not interested in dressing Barbie dolls, and my daughter is not interested in turning the planters into a construction zone? Couldn't we just leave it at that?

        • Of course there is no point in coercing people into things that they do not want to do. The problem with CS is that, particularly with girls, it has a strong negative perception, e.g., "programming is hard and boring". Our data suggest, however, when introduced to CS in a certain way (with the right tools, curriculum and pedagogy) a very large percentage of students (boys and girls) changes their minds. The strategy is to expose them once in very compelling way. If they don't like it - no problem.
  • That's obvious (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Virtucon (127420) on Friday September 27, 2013 @08:35AM (#44969405)

    As soon as they ask that they want to learn how to do it is when you should start engaging them not only in coding but other computer science topics as well. Before my kids (3 out of 4) learned the basics of programming, they also had a fundamental understanding of electronics not because I pushed it on them but because they saw me working and started asking questions. Coding isn't for everybody and despite efforts to the contrary, it's more creative than people would think at first. That's the fatal assumption, if you have a foundation with Math and good logic skills that doesn't equate to being good or even liking coding as a profession. Now, if you ask my three kids (who are now 18+) what they want to do in terms of careers, one is in a CS program the others are not taking that track.

    • Here, here. The artful side of programming is never talked about, it's up there with architecture if you ask me.
  • If the corporate culture has its way, all of those jobs will be outsourced by the time today's toddlers get to the job market.

  • by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Friday September 27, 2013 @08:39AM (#44969459)

    That's absurd. Learning time-sensitive ordered tasks, such as in music or dance, or alternative ways to express similar ideas, such as language skills, are invaluable to skilled programmers. The ideas of checklists, logical operations, and revising a program on the basis of alternate events, learning about backup and what you can lose without it, are all useful.

    I'd be more concerned about what happens with _bad_ programming lessons, being taught to manipulate only GUI based patterns in a teacher expected way or be marked down for not doing it the way an uninformed, underpaid coding monkey wrote to mark the checksheet off their daily tasks and pays no attention to encouraging the children to learn how things work. I'm concerned tht the children will be taught only how to fill out a checklist blindly. I've worked with programmers taught that way, and they can become an active obstacle to good computing, good science, or even good politics.

    I'm afraid that a lot of the pre-teen children I've been meeting in public school would be better off, though, with real recess or a daily siesta rather than yet another mandatory lesson that requires sitting in a computer classroom. They're exhausted, and getting their bodies moving is being neglected in conflicting academic policies and goals.

    • by luis_a_espinal (1810296) on Friday September 27, 2013 @09:30AM (#44969933) Homepage

      That's absurd. Learning time-sensitive ordered tasks, such as in music or dance, or alternative ways to express similar ideas, such as language skills, are invaluable to skilled programmers. The ideas of checklists, logical operations, and revising a program on the basis of alternate events, learning about backup and what you can lose without it, are all useful.

      I'd be more concerned about what happens with _bad_ programming lessons, being taught to manipulate only GUI based patterns in a teacher expected way or be marked down for not doing it the way an uninformed, underpaid coding monkey wrote to mark the checksheet off their daily tasks and pays no attention to encouraging the children to learn how things work. I'm concerned tht the children will be taught only how to fill out a checklist blindly. I've worked with programmers taught that way, and they can become an active obstacle to good computing, good science, or even good politics.

      I'm afraid that a lot of the pre-teen children I've been meeting in public school would be better off, though, with real recess or a daily siesta rather than yet another mandatory lesson that requires sitting in a computer classroom. They're exhausted, and getting their bodies moving is being neglected in conflicting academic policies and goals.

      Finally someone who is paying attention to children's physiology. Their sleeping patterns are different from adults, and they do require additional sleep (and depending on their age, different nutritional content.)

      Also, as you said, it is important to give precedence to more fundamental, cognitive/social skills. Slashdot is infected by too many keyboard warriors that think coding should become a basic, fundamental topic. It is not.

      Don't rush kids into learning to code. Get them to learn the essentials first, math/algebra, natural sciences, language, history, civics and the basics of personal finance. All that, in particular personal finance, are more important that learning to code. We have a lot of shitty coders as it is, and a lot of people who suck at the basics of math, history, civics and logical thinking. What the do people think it's going to happen when we rush/force kids to learn to code?

      Also, who is going to teach coding? A proficient developer, or a we going to repeat the current pattern of forcing a teacher of specialty X to teach specialty Y for which he/she is completely unqualified?

  • Confer my dawg. I had him for slightly over 2 years now, got him when he was 1 1/2 years old. Although he is a crossover between two races renowned for their brains ( a dachshund and a german shepherd ), he STILL does not know the difference between an interface and an abstract class. Fibonacci series: same things. Beyond F(2), he is lamentably lost. Pretty much the only thing he can do, is reading Aristotle and Thomas of Aquinas, these dorks. I should have started earlier.... ?
  • by SirGarlon (845873) on Friday September 27, 2013 @08:41AM (#44969473)

    In my education, there was a big dead zone called junior high where the state curriculum taught very little new material -- just algebra and a little civics -- and spent most of the time rehashing what had been taught in elementary school. The prevailing wisdom that "raging hormones" made the junior-high kids unreceptive to new learning. Seriously, this is what principals and superintendents said. It's the most insulting thing to the pupils I can imagine.

    Junior high was when some of my friends started taking drugs. I was reading a book a day just to kill the boredom, and I'm convinced I would have been better off skipping class and reading two books a day.

    So you could give the kids something useful to learn during those two years, instead of spending taxpayer money to basically babysit them.

  • If there's anything that'll kill any interest in a subject its having to adhere to a Government approved curriculum. They're kids, let them play in the sun/puddles and fall out of trees for a few years before allowing them to sit in front of a computer all day.
  • Robot Turtles (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TC Wilcox (954812) on Friday September 27, 2013 @08:44AM (#44969497)
    My only affiliation with this game is that I back it. Today is the last day of the kickstarter..... http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/danshapiro/robot-turtles-the-board-game-for-little-programmer [kickstarter.com]

    Robot Turtles is a board game for kids ages 3-8. It takes seconds to learn, minutes to play, and will keep them learning for hours. Kids won't know it but while they're playing, they're learning the fundamentals of programming.

  • I'm not a software developer or anything of that sort. Maybe school children can have some sort of programming lessons as part of maths, just organised in a different way than it was back in my younger days.
    My school maths curriculum included logic operations when I was in 10th grade (16-17 years old)
    Converting numbers from base 10 to base 2, base 8, base whatever when I was in 5th grade (10-11 years old)

    Is that the basis for "coding", or do people mean clicking on UI elements and assigning them existing fu

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapore_math [wikipedia.org]
    See how that goes and think about using Logo, Basic or Pascal when the time is right and if interested.
  • Early is bad if it means you are forcing all kids to try to learn programming skills.. If they have a choice to take it as an elective though that'd be good to start in middle school.. let 6th graders that want to learn about it get started by the time they are out of highschool they'll be badass coding machines.
  • by beaverdownunder (1822050) on Friday September 27, 2013 @09:05AM (#44969677)

    When I was 6 (in 1981) my Grade 2 class learned LOGO (at least the turtle graphics part). Of course I had been programming on my TS1000 for a year at that point, and so was mostly helping the other children. But still, pretty much everyone in the class "got it".

    Why they stopped (and they did stop, after all) teaching programming to kids that age, I don't know. It was a stupid move. Really stupid.

  • I think around grade 4 is where kids should get tested for if they should be taught programming or foreign language. A programming language should be taught of as a real language just like french, german or russian. If some kids can easily grasp foreign languages ( polyglots ) and some kids can pick up computer programming easily, then why teach them the same. I think we're entering a time when we need to start tailoring the education system into groups. Kids who can learn languages easily should take
    • Totally, because as history has shown time and time again, only people who were really great in a particular subject as kids go on to bring anything great into the world, and there has never, ever, not even once, been someone who was initially thought to be very bad at a subject who later became a true giant in the field.

  • How Early Should Kids Learn To Code?

    As early as they are capable of devising logical constructs (probably by the 2nd grade) IF AND ONLY IF they provide an aptitude and desire for it.

  • First programing in itself is not difficult to learn. Evidenced by the massive number of self taught programmers myself included. Second given how rapid technology is accelerating programming as a useful skill could very well be obsolete is 15-20 years. Finally critical thinking, curiosity and a willingness to take risks are timeless. Teach your children well (give them values). They will be better off.
  • I started my programming "career" with LOGO back in third grade. I almost immediately fell in love with programming. When they stopped teaching it at higher levels, I taught myself - first TI-BASIC, then C++, then anything I could get my hands on. Eventually I got into a high school that taught programming, where I re-learned Java and C++.

    But I learned all that because I wanted to. You force every kid to follow the path I did, you'll get a bunch of kids who never want to program again, and probably aren't a

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Friday September 27, 2013 @09:31AM (#44969957)

    How Early Should Kids Learn To Code?
    After they learn Karate.

  • When I was in 4th grade, we had those Atari workstations where we'd pop in a cartridge and do typing tutors. We also learned Logo, which at the time, I didn't equate with programming. In 6th grade, I had a class where we'd write BASIC on PCjrs and that's where I became totally enamored with the fact that I could have the computer do what I wanted. Even though the extent of the class was just drawing graphics to the screen, we learned a little about `for` loops and I was able to do some basic colour-cycling

  • The time to teach them about programming is when they ask how the magic screens work. From there they'll have an interest, or they won't..

  • I learned coding at the ripe old age of 5. When other's were playing with the turtle paint program, I was teaching myself to write some simple code on the Apple IIe. In retrospect, I'm grateful that my teachers let me play around with the computer and didn't try to keep me on task with Turtle Paint. By 7, I was teaching adults how to do basic coding at the public library's programing courses. When the teacher got stumped, she'd call me over to help figure it out.

    It's never too early to start kids on pro

  • Just stop all this nonsense, if a kid wants to learn to code in elementary/middle school, just let him/her do it in their spare time as a hobby, just like we did decades ago. It's more important for them to learn the stuff we did at school when we were children, as today they seem to try to cram everything into school, even though children learn also much more outside of school now through means of internet and the millions of broadcast media.. it's not necessary to teach them coding at school, why not oth
  • I learned to write in basic when I was 6, even though I could hardly spell at the time, coding and typing came together,
    most words were very short and easy but I still remember, 30 years later, memorizing REPEAT. I consider this a good experience.
    I also had the chance to teach a class of 5 year olds to do "Lego-logo", this was a once week afternoon activity for 20 weeks.
    They would build from mechanical lego. and would then program it on the computer by arranging large colorful blocks in order, the building

  • I think (Score:5, Funny)

    by JustOK (667959) on Friday September 27, 2013 @09:45AM (#44970093) Journal

    I think 8 am is about the right time to start.

  • I would not be opposed to seeing schools offer it as a choice between the two. I was forced to take music courses for quite a while into my school years, in spite of being completely tone deaf. Trying to get me to perform even the simplest of music with any accuracy was hopeless. I would have happily taken coding instead, an indeed I was writing programs in BASIC during my typing courses at the same school when I was bored from that curriculum.
  • As others have pointed out, code is just a specific implementation.

    Any sufficiently complex logic becomes programming. (As I tried to tell a former marketing manager, who now spends 80+% of his time "programming" instead of marketing, in his "don't need programmers anymore" system.)

    I could envision all sorts of early educational implementations ... "if Princess X comes into the room, do A; if Princess Y comes into the room, do B."

  • No foreign language, no music? I think not. Shorten the time spent on things from each core subject that really should be spent in more advanced courses (for example: math, factoring larger polynomials and division of polynomials; English, diagramming more complex sentences and guessing what dead authors were really thinking; biology, memorizing the stages of cell division; etc). Teach the most basic logic/programming constructs in elementary school, then change the frequently required "computer technology"
  • Young, developing minds have difficulty separating reality from fantasy. In many ways society encourages this, whether with Santa Claus or "happily ever after". This disconnect is used to comfort and motivate the developing child. The cost comes later in life, when many still have trouble discerning between attractive falsehoods, ("global warming has no anthropogenic causes"), and hard, cold fact.

    Many here have proposed teaching logic before coding, and that is reasonable, but as a first step, perception m

    • by gtall (79522)

      Well, technically, logic only shows you what follows from what. I does not teach you what is true and what isn't true. It might help you discern an untruth if that leads to a contradiction, but it doesn't help you know what is true simpliciter.

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