Veteran educators Shaheer Faltas and Kate Nicholson explain why little children should not be taught coding and computer science. 

Although they write about kindergarten children, the basic principles are the same for very young children of 6 and 7. They may enjoy playing on the computer but take care not to start direct instruction and career preparation for little children. I am not sure when children should start preparing for the computer age, but what they write sounds reasonable to me. What do you think?

They write:

“President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos intend to prioritize science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education by making available $200 million in grants and recommend that coding and computer science skills be taught in K-12 schools across the nation. Though the intention to improve K-12 education is admirable, doubling down on technology in America’s kindergarten classrooms is not the answer.

“As a lifelong educator now running a school in Mill Valley within the orbit of Silicon Valley, and a parent who writes regularly about education, we have daily insight into what tomorrow’s leaders need in order to walk confidently into the future — and it’s not the development of skills like coding.

“All across the country, experienced educators will tell you that putting more digital devices into the hands of young, impressionable children won’t take them where we want them to go. Rather, it will leave students adrift in a sea of obsolescence.

“A quick glimpse at a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which lists the fastest declining occupations for 2014 to 2024, demonstrates why pushing a narrow skill set — like computer coding — into our youngest grades is unwise. Over the past two decades, entire industries have been gutted by technological advances that were impossible to predict.

”Instead of prioritizing technology first, we need to teach students how to think and adapt, how to communicate and ask questions. Childhood is a cherished, sacred time — one for sparking imagination.

“Indeed, the purpose of K-12 education has expanded beyond offering just content and now entails equipping students with life skills. Elementary school is where the basic foundations of character are built, where self-control takes shape, and where students begin to perceive of themselves as part of a larger community.”

A womderful article!

Let children be children. Defend childhood.