Coding kids get a jump on the job market

This number of jobs is expected to grow in the years to come, given that data science, artificial intelligence, and decentralization technologies (such as Blockchain Technology, on which cryptocurrencies are based) are becoming increasingly dominant areas of the economic sector. Teaching programming from an early age could therefore be a way to facilitate countries’ immersion and performance in the digital economy.

Some studies also argue that exposing students to computer programming early in the school curriculum could have a positive impact on identity, given the many stereotypes associated with it (mainly that “computer science is only for boys”). . In this respect, arguments can be advanced that go beyond the economic benefit.

promoting social justice

According to several authors, greater exposure to computer science through programming among young people could also help promote greater social equity in terms of representation and access to tech jobs.

On the one hand, computer skills can actually provide access to well-paying jobs, which could contribute to greater financial stability for marginalized groups who have not had opportunities to accumulate wealth in recent generations. On the other hand, the increased participation of people from underrepresented groups in computer science (women, aboriginal, black) could also promote diversity in this area and ultimately lead to an increase in the total number of workers.

In addition, there is a related argument that greater diversity within the workforce would result in better products that are more accessible to a larger segment of consumers in the marketplace. Too much homogeneity among workers leads to the design of products and services that target a relatively narrow range of people and problems, which can reinforce some inequalities.

Young computer programmer looking through data.

Young computer programmer looking through data.

Researchers advocating this equality argument argue that unless early and intentional steps are taken to encourage greater diversity, it could result in a “digital divide,” or differential in opportunity, between dominant and marginalized groups that will grow in years to come will be much more pronounced. In this sense, all youth learning programs could represent a measure to reduce this gap and promote more social justice, which is consistent United Nations Goal 4 on inclusion and equality in education.

Finally, the most frequently cited argument concerns the role that programming would play in the development of computational thinking in learners. Defined and popularized in 2006, the concept of computational thinking refers to the skills of “problem solving, systems design and understanding human behavior based on the fundamental concepts of computer science”.

Several authors argue that the development of such computational reasoning would be beneficial to learners as it would allow them to develop high-level logical skills that can be transferred to other learning, such as B. Problem solving, creativity and abstraction.

For these reasons, computational thinking is often embedded in new programming curricula, such as England curriculumwhere it states that “a quality education in computer science empowers students to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world”.

Introducing programming into the school curriculum could therefore be beneficial for all students, including those who are not destined for a technological career, as they could benefit from computational thinking in a more cross-curricular way in their daily life.

However, it is important to note that these beneficial effects for the learner, although widely discussed and increasingly documented, have yet to be demonstrated by more research incorporating comparative and longitudinal aspects. Hugo’s thesis examines this perspective.

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In summary, it appears that Ontario policy makers have recognized the potential three-fold future benefit of teaching youth computer coding. However, the biggest challenge currently facing the Ontario government is the lack of sufficiently qualified teachers to adequately introduce this complex discipline to students.

Appropriate staff training will be a key requirement for successful integration, as shown until 2014 Report on the integration of computer programming in the UK One possible solution could be to integrate programming into the initial university education of prospective teachers.

This article was first published by The Conversation

https://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace/canada-s-coding-kids-make-themselves-job-ready-20221004-p5bn6a.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_business Coding kids get a jump on the job market

Brian Lowry

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