5-year-olds should be taught computing

classroom

Scotland’s youngest should be taught basic computer skills, some academics have claimed.

The Centre for Computer Science Education (CCSE) unsurprisingly wants to see computing placed at the core of the education system, instead of being a merely optional discipline as it is now.

Rather, the organisation would like to see it become central to learning for those as young as five, much like subjects such as maths, languages and, I dunno, PE are now.

And well they might – computers have been around for a little while now and I, for one, reckon they might be here to stay.

Last month’s A-level results revealed that only 9% of those taking computing courses were girls. Appalling stuff, but even when combined with the boys only 7,600 students took such courses, falling well short of the 40,000 needed to fill the country’s digital roles.

The CCSE intends to do some research will it says will help it reveal the best ways to teach computing science – from which it hopes to develop new curriculum materials.

Quintin Cutts, Professor of Computer Science Education at Glasgow University, very sensibly said: ‘Schools of education have been studying the teaching of numeracy and literacy for generations, but computing science hasn’t been researched with anything close to the same rigour. Digital technology is quickly becoming the key driver of innovation in societies and economies across the world and it is vital Scotland has a workforce which reflects that.

‘We can’t simply teach students how to use products like Microsoft Office and expect them to succeed – they need to have the computational thinking skills required to imagine and develop new products for themselves.’

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At what age do you think children should be taught computing? How old is too old? Should we just turn all the computers off and go back to pencils and not swearing at each other over the internet? Please share your thoughts below.

5-year-olds should be taught computing

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