Mathematics, French and… Programming!
Most people of our generation grew up learning languages like Dutch, French, English and German. It was obvious we were taught these languages as they were spoken in countries adjacent to us. Nowadays, as companies become more globalized, languages like Chinese, Spanish, Arab or Hindi gain more popularity because of the large amount of people that speak them. Governments and parents pressure their citizens and children to learn more languages. But some languages are still often overlooked: Java, HTML, C(++), PHP, Python.. programming languages!
However, not all governments overlook the importance of programming languages. Finland for example, the home of tech companies like Nokia and Supercell, has become one of the first countries to make learning programming compulsory for schoolchildren. Starting from 2016, pupils aged between seven and 16 will the learn the basics of programming in a renewed national core curriculum. This does not mean that children will have to sit through boring programming classes, instead it will be integrated into other subjects. A main focus will be on areas like practical skills, creative working and safe use of technology. A subject like mathematics could for example include assignments where pupils will have to write a script to perform calculations. More exciting subjects could integrate coding by applying it to for example product design or manufacturing.
Finland is not the first country to see the importance of introducing children to the world of coding. Estonia already implemented programming into their education in 2012 and the UK introduced a new computing curriculum in 2014. It is to be expected that many more countries will follow, as the introduction of programming into school curriculums is become an international trend. Technology has become a big part of nowadays’ daily life, with everyone – from pupils to elderly – using smartphones, tables and notebooks to communicate with each other.
What is your opinion about this new international trend? Do you wish your elementary education included programming, 10 or 15 years ago?