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Opinion: Mandatory Coding Classes May Not Be Necessary

Opinion: Mandatory Coding Classes May Not Be Necessary

The movement to encourage all schools to make coding education mandatory may not be the right fit for every single student. 

So says Patrick Gray, who works for a consulting and IT services company in an article on TechRepublic.com. Gray said the belief that all students should learn to code may not be the only answer, and that these skills can be gained in other classes. 

"A 'coder generation' presumably would understand the how and why of when a technology doesn't work, and could even self-diagnose and troubleshoot problems as they occur," Gray said. "The most vocal advocates of the movement recommend that coding be placed among the hallowed subjects of Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic, the core of education."

Gray said he believes that "some of the fundamental concerns by the 'learn coding' movement are legitimate."

"Skills such as breaking a complex problem into component parts, rapidly learning and applying new tools and methods, synthesizing a complex series of tasks to accomplish an objective, integrating disparate elements designed by multiple teams, and 'debugging' a system when it doesn't work correctly are critical for success in a variety of professions," said Gray. "While coding checks all these boxes, so does wood shop, cooking and baking, advanced mathematics, or designing a house."

Gray said that enforcing mandatory coding is "a proscriptive approach to the problem of teaching the aforementioned skills, and enforces a single approach to a problem that can be solved through multiple content areas."

"Subjecting generations of students and workers to mandatory coding education is the wrong way to accomplish an otherwise noble goal," he said. "Critical thinking, logic, rapidly learning new tools and methods, problem solving, and task management should be embedded in and encouraged in every content area, rather than as the sole domain of coding and technology."

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor 

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