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Programming languages in schools - The Ex-Communicator

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January 22nd, 2012

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10:14 am - Programming languages in schools
I have just written a post on the new computing curriculum for schools. People might be interested in the list of suggested programming languages. This is not mandated, but I think it is interesting. It is found on page 13.
Every student should have repeated opportunities to design, write, run and debug an executable program. What an executable program means can range widely depending on the level of the student and the amount of time available. The following are included in programming:

  • Small domain-specific languages, such as instructions to a simple robot, or Logo-style turtle.

  • Visual languages such as Scratch BYOB or Kodu.

  • Text-based languages, such as C#, C++, Java, Pascal, PHP, Python, Visual Basic, and so on.

  • Scripting languages, such as shell scripts, Flash ActionScript, or JavaScript.

  • Spreadsheet formulae

I do not know how actual teachers will approach this issue. Teachers in general will be out of their depth here. If I were to get involved, let us say as a writer, I would probably use Javascript as the exemplar. I would be interested in the opinions of anyone who works in programming.

(37 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:January 22nd, 2012 08:24 pm (UTC)
Very true. :-) So perhaps a better solution would be have your best 'programmer-teachers' delivering lectures (assuming this is secondary schooling, of course) via webcast to a larger number of schools/pupils. Kind of like a master class model? And then have less-skilled programmer-teachers act almost as demonstrators would in a university context.
[User Picture]
Date:January 22nd, 2012 10:36 pm (UTC)
I like the webcast masterclass idea, but I think the on-the-ground teachers would still have to be quite skilled to be sure to identify those kids who have grasped the concepts and those still struggling.
[User Picture]
Date:January 23rd, 2012 02:57 pm (UTC)
Er - yes. But that applies to every subject.

Could always make it more vocational. So, for example, every child to have a placement in some company or other where they are expected to write some code for a practical, real life purpose.

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