TED Conversations

Dyed All Hues

Thinker and Experimenter,


This conversation is closed.

Should we start teaching children in Primary and/or Secondary School "Coding"?

Coding is computer lingo, which I've heard a million times, but I've never really found an interest in learning anymore, until I saw this video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dU1xS07N-FA.

I believe that learning coding seems like a fascinating task now. I feel that coding would be pretty amazing skill to spread to the future innovators of tomorrow. I have not yet given myself the opportunity to learn coding, but after watching this I will check it out in the near future.

Do you think that the current curricula for education would fit a whole new division of computer science related courses, like coding (I think it's the big one?).

What are your views of more technologically based educational environments in the near future?

Does anyone else imagine a world of cyborgs....ha, but seriously, what are the limitations to having this skill?

If you have any other questions that might get answers or you have an answer for, then ask away and let's challenge the boundaries my fellow Tedsters! =)


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Mar 21 2013: I liked Hathaway Mann's comment about how it could be more useful than math. I'm not an anti-math person (I actually have a PhD. in the subject), but I do think that a lot of the math taught in school is completely lost on most people, leaving them with bad memories of stuff they "never use in real life".

    But I wouldn't want to remove the one subject which emphasizes precision, care, discipline and logic.

    So.. maybe programming should replace math! Math could become an "optional" subject after teaching basic arithmetic.

    Now there are different types of programming, which would develop different abilities in our kids and teens. I am only weighing in on the "algorithm-oriented" type of programming, other people will have opinions about scripting and other flavors.
    • thumb
      Mar 21 2013: That's a fresh perspective that I am interested in. I haven't learned much about coding and all that, but math could be integrated into coding and other computer programming courses right?
      • Mar 22 2013: Sure, but I'm suggesting we don't even teach "math". Logic and precision can be learnt via computer science. We could teach students how to write code to evaluate a quadratic formula, but why bother? Why learn the quadratic formula at all?

        People gravitate towards what interests them. The people who would end up gravitating toward the quadratic formula would then learn about the geometry of conics and roots of polynomials. To them it would not be "an ugly formula" which they were forced to memorize with no desire to understand it.
    • Mar 22 2013: I like your idea to an extent. People use more than basis arithmetic without realizing it. Moreover, even basic math could get 'unlearned' by many if left unused for so long.

      Most parts of programming exist of basic mathematical concepts, and thus are rendered meaningless to those with no notion or feeling with these concepts. I'm talking about quite simple things, nothing extravagant. I think math gets people a feeling for these things. Take, for example, a loop. Loops are quite common in programming as things often have to be repeated. This came from summations and other loop constructs in maths.

      Here's a fun fact: Alan Turing (often called 'father of Computer Science') designed his 'Turing machines' (basis for computers) for mathematicians. They were constructs on paper that, by following a number of steps, would give some result with some input. This enabled mathematicians to automate some laborous work by simply following these simple steps. Math is just too big a part of computer science.
      • Mar 22 2013: I think we're basically on the same page. But I am proposing that people learn about loops not by learning about sums first - instead, just learn what a loop is!

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.