More Computer Science Education in US Schools

Despite throwing more money per student than anyplace on Earth, the United States’s educational system is rarely near the top. That should tell people that more money is never the solution, but that never stops them from spending more money anyway.

Perhaps one of the most crucial problems with the American educational system is that it fails to make computer science mandatory. While it’s nice to focus on math and reading and writing, computer science is a crucial skill that everyone needs to learn just like math and reading and writing.

The reason computer science is so important is that it teaches problem solving skills. The specific programming language used isn’t as important as the skills people learn in the process of writing programs and breaking down large problems into step by step solutions.

More importantly, schools should be focused on teaching students how to solve problems, not endlessly debating about whether to teach creationism in schools. Creationism simply teaches students to stop pursuing answers. After all, if God created the world in seven days, 6,000 years ago, there’s no need to question this belief and search for actual proof. When you teach students to stop looking for answers, you stop teaching. It’s that simple.

That’s why computer science should be mandatory in schools whether students learn BASIC, Java, or Python. Computer programming gives students immediately feedback on their solutions, which can be frustrating initially but not so much as doing something wrong in math or biology and not realizing you did anything wrong until you take a test.

Computer programming provides immediate feedback so students know exactly what they know and don’t know. Then they can keep searching for answers.

The whole point of education isn’t to teach facts (or myths), but to teach students how to learn, and computer science is a great way to do that. the fact that the United States doesn’t make computer programming mandatory is simply overlooking a tremendous teaching tool that no amount of spending can replace.

Programming teaches people how to think, but for many people, that’s the most dangerous use of schools when they would prefer to teach people how to obey instead.

To read more about the need for computer science in American schools, click here.

 

March 5th, 2016 by
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