Linked by David Adams on Sun 8th May 2011 04:15 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Well-known game developer David Braben is a little bit fed up with the state of computer science education these days, which seems to have shifted away from learning programming to some sort of computer-oriented "life skills" class. As the father of eleven and nine year-old boys, I can attest that so far, despite a massive investment on the part of their school in computer equipment, their computer education has consisted mostly of "play this math game" and "don't be victimized by cyber-perverts." Braben's idea to stem this tide: a very, very cheap computer that students can learn to program on.
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RE: Scope
by Almafeta on Sun 8th May 2011 07:47 UTC in reply to "Scope"
Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

Any information that is only relevant to a small number of specific occupations is not "general" and should not be included in these years of school. This includes computer programming (and electronics, mechanical engineering, aerodynamics, accountancy, law, architecture, etc)


And here we have the reason the US's education quality has been steadily in decline.

I take specific offense at two of the topics you claim should not be taught. Without knowing accounting (staring from the 4th grade) and law (starting in middle school, 6th grade), not only would I have failed high school, I would not be as capable of a citizen as I am today; I would not know how to properly make and balance my budget, nor know the context in which the systems which govern me and my government came to being in. Those are already off the list of topics most students learn. And now, some right wing pundits and pulpit politicos are campaigning to have 'unessential' topics as US history and literature - supportedly to save 'taxpayer dollars'.

What is computer programming, but learning how to represent complex, abstract data in simple mentally-manipulatable terms, and how to break down huge abstract tasks into simple, completable tasks? Just like learning to use a word processor (even if just to 'type letters') helps us to learn English, learning to program teaches us the sort of abstraction, time management, and task breakdown skills that you need to be a complete and functional adult - even if you aspire to do nothing more than work at McDonald's.

Edited 2011-05-08 07:51 UTC

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