Computer Science and/or Coding as a Graduation Requirement

Discussion in 'General Education' started by tchr4vr, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Comrade

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    Just curious. I was doing some reading, and it looks like Chicago is implementing a new graduation requirement of computer science. Does everyone think this is a good idea? I agree that technology is a necessity, but coding and computer science. I have taken a coding class, out of curiosity, and I found it very tedious, and not something I will ever use. I love technology, and use it all the time, but not sure I need to know the code for it, or any of that. I know if I was a student, and some one expected me to take one of these for graduation, I would, but I wouldn't get a lot out of it. Just wondering what the consensus is.
     
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  3. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I believe in the basics for graduation. As much as technology is a part of our lives, I still don't think it is yet a necessity to prove a basic education. Sounds like they are just trying to cozy up with the STEM community.
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I know that there has been some discussion here about adding coding to the curriculum at the elementary level. It wouldn't be an entire course, but some standards would be introduced.
     
  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    In my area, they are considering allowing students to substitute coding for the required foreign language. I'm not a fan of that, at all!
     
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  6. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I don't know about making it a requirement, but allowing it to substitute for other classes, like the foreign language requirement, would be a positive.
     
  7. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    I have dabbled a bit in coding, and I can see it would be beneficial for some students to learn. There are tons of jobs available for people who can code, or at least those that can work with computers beyond the basics. I can certainly see the advantages in offering it to my students. I wish they had it in my high school!
     
  8. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I teach coding and computer science, and no I would not make it a requirement. Very few people actually need it to do their jobs. I think being able to use Excel and Word effectively is much more useful. They should definitely allow coding and computer science as an elective though.
     
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  9. bros

    bros Phenom

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    They should make computer literacy a requirement.

    Subbing programming for a foreign language is fine, though.
     
  10. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    While I might not consider it something that should be a requirement, I would say that it is a wonderful opportunity for students to have to consistently problem solve and work with a growth mindset an a more independent sense than often happens (i.e. usually teachers are the ones driving students to having a growth mindset...the coding pushes students to have to continually rethink their work). I have a kiddo who struggles quite a bit with that "grit", but was able to build a bit of that problem solving ability through doing some coding in class.
     
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  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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  12. adeeb

    adeeb Rookie

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    I think at least one basic course in computer science or coding should be a requirement. It's not just about preparing students for the work they would do in their future jobs. We learn plenty of things (like proofs in Math) that most of us won't ever use in our jobs, but yet we still learn them. The value is in the skills we learn from being taught these concepts.

    Coding teaches students logic, reasoning, and problem solving skills, all of which are applicable in other facets of life. Coding also teaches students how to break down even the simplest action (drinking water, for example) into tens of smaller steps. Students will realize that even the smallest detail should not be overlooked.

    There are other benefits of coding that aren't always brought up in conversation. One common scenario, even for the most experienced coders, is researching how to code a particular feature. There are a plethora of tutorials, forums, and other resources that students can tap into to further their knowledge of coding. If they find a code snippet online that they can plug into their projects, they will have to learn how to integrate it in their own code. The challenge is not finding the code but figuring out to adapt it to your own project. Through this process, they will learn how to become better learners and will teach themselves how to find the answers on their own.
     
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  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I've never thought about substituting coding for a foreign language requirement, but I have to admit that it sort of makes sense. I would have to do more research on this, but I can see myself supporting this idea. I'm saying this as someone who taught foreign language for about a decade.
     
  14. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    My daughter had no choice but to do coding, and she barely passed it. Her brain does NOT think the same way as someone who enjoys coding. I'm not of fan of forcing student to complete a coding class in order to graduate. They have enough to work on that needs more attention, for instance, reading, writing, and math in order to balance a checkbook, write a check, pay bills, and fill out job applications.
     
  15. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I'd have to see more comparison of coding against the other courses required for graduation. Perhaps as an alternative to a foreign language...
     
  16. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    I feel like if we want to make more global, tolerant (and essentially more social) citizens which seems to be what most of society wants, replacing a foreign language with coding would be a step backwards, but I understand not everyone's mind is language driven, but not everyone is math or science minded either...
     
  17. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    50% of the things you mentioned are things kids today will never, ever do.

    I'm a huge fan of having coding if it takes the place of something else. Placing more random grad requirements on our kids that are already trying to complete their other silly grad requirements (yes, that one semester of voc ed is really going to change their lives) is awful policy.
     
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  18. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    No. Coding shouldn't be mandatory. The majority of people will never have to code anything. I do think it should be available to everyone if they want to learn how to code.

    I do think that schools will NOT do a good job teaching coding in most cases if it becomes a standard elective. There are a lot of on-line programs out there which claim to be able to teach students to code, but the ones I have seen are not very good. Learning to code requires analysis of the problem and breaking it down as the major task before even adding syntax. Coding poorly is much easier than learning to code well.

    The benefit of coding, if done right, is teaching the students to break down the problems, trace through their analysis, and look for scenarios that will fail when traced through their analysis. Leaning to code properly is a thinking course. Unfortunately, it will not be taught that way, and most likely it will be taught by teachers who aren't competent in the skill. Schools are already having a hard time finding teachers who are competent to teach the computer science classes the schools currently offer because most people who are competent coders are not teaching. Many schools are facilitating on-line programs that claim the teacher doesn't need to know anything about coding. It just doesn't work.
     
  19. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Coding is learning how to break down a problem into its steps. The level depends on the computer language you are going to use. Your daughter may not have been a natural coder or she may not have had a teacher or program that taught students how to break down problems as their main focus but focused on the language and coding right away.

    I agree, when you have kids not being able to read well, write well, or do math well enough to balance a checkbook coding isn't going to be a necessary course. The coding advocates will tell you though that there is technology to take over all of that. The biggest problem with those arguments is usually the people with that weak of academic skills will never be in a job that will allow them to afford the technology and software to perform those tasks for them.
     

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