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Opinion: Why Computer Science Should Be Considered Part of Math Curriculum

Opinion: Why Computer Science Should Be Considered Part of Math Curriculum

Expanding access to computer science has become a national initiative, and with that so has the question of how it should best be integrated into school curricula.

According to Edutopia writer Lincoln Sedlack, computer science should be viewed as an integral part of math curriculum.

For one, Sedlack says the complicated language of computer science and coding is similar to the numerical language students learn in math.

"Of course, mathematical language and computer programming languages aren't exactly the same. But experience using any abstract language gives beginning computer scientists an advantage,” he says.

On that same note, Sedlack says that math builds the foundations for students to both learn algorithms and begin analyzing their work.

"In a day's worth of programming, any computer scientist is guaranteed to make a mistake. As such, programmers must know how to assess a problem, analyze their work, and fix errors,” he says.

This work-checking is first learned, however, while learning math.

Plus, Sedlack says, computer science in general requires an individual to have a decent background and understanding in math.

So while computer science is agreeably an important focus for K-12 education moving forward, Sedlack argues that providing students with a strong math curriculum should be the first step for success.

"All too often, students are allowed to back away from math without understanding why math matters. We want our students growing up to become the next leaders in computer science and STEM careers in general. But we need to recognize that as long as we're short-changing our students on their mathematical educations, we're missing an important part of the equation,” he says.

Read the full story

Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

4/22/2016

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