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Should Programming be mandatory in Elementary School?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/22/2013 Category: Technology
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,430 times Debate No: 36952
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
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Rules: Wikipedia cannot be used as a source.
Structure: Round 1 Define argument, Round 2: Anything, Round 3: Conclusions/Sources.

Technology has become a corner stone of modern society and yet American students are not taught how the technology works. During the years 2005-2009 information technology classes were electives in high school for any individual that wanted to learn about it. It is becoming the largest growing field in America to get jobs yet only a small portion of students even learn about programming.

Many companies hire employees from other countries not because they are cheaper but because they are well educated. Many jobs inside the United States have to be filled by employees from a variety of Asian companies because our school systems do not have a good programming system.

Individuals that do not use programming as a career opportunity can find ways of using it for a variety of hobbies and opportunities for entrepreneurship. When starting a small business in any town having a basic knowledge of HTML can allow the company to create and manage their own website without paying large fees to have a company make the site for them. When it comes to hobbies a programmer can make their own games and applications for their phones such as android.


1. That is right they were electives that I have taken in High School and I can say that I indeed am not planning on going into that field and I know few that do. Beyond that though why would we want to base education around building our job force in one particular sector of the economy? Education is about understanding the world and the universe not stimulating the economy and our priorities should be straight that understanding of the natural world, the big questions, our history, our language, our works of art should NEVER be outweighed by what is economically convenient.

2. These Asiatic nations like South Korea which as a programmer I am sure you are aware of their technological advancement but I ask is Programming mandatory for those aged 6-12? Even if there is some mandatory programming education and they have higher standards then you should note the high teen suicide rate which has been attributed to the stress of their education system so their model is not to be envied. You want to expand are programming job force at the price of a higher suicide rate? Does increased suicide of young people become permissible if we can field more programmers as a nation to compete in the globalized economy?

3. Mandatory? Why not have it be the choice of the parents and offer special programs but you want it be required that all young children have an understanding of programming? I remind you that algebra is not even studied until the 9th grade in American schools and you want 5th, 4th or even 3rd graders studying programming with the parents having no choice in the matter? What subject will you be robbing these children of, Science? Math? History? or the already underfunded art and music departments? I took Computers class in elementary and most schools offer typing classes and basic computer skills but you want them to be writing programs before they are even writing their first essay?

4. We were taught HTML in middle school at my school, if you are so insistent we all be forced to learn it then why not teach it in the already existent computers classes in middle school or junior high? Why yes they can and they can learn that in college if it is their passion, I as a history student will not insist that 12 year olds have a complex understanding of history, nor should we demand 10 year olds to have an understanding of programming if it is not their interest.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you Con, The points made by the opposition are four strong points. It would seem my point of attack invoking the economy has been completely invalidated by Con's well explained opinion on the purpose of education.

"Education is about understanding the world and the universe not stimulating the economy and our priorities should be straight that understanding of the natural world, the big questions, our history, our language, our works of art should NEVER be outweighed by what is economically convenient." - Con

Due to such a well defined notion of education I will drop the opinion of school being used for economic purposing and begin to pursue another line of reasoning.

1. Coding in General Life.
In modern society, computers have began to be a part of every aspect of life. Phones, televisions and even cars have a level of programming in them for them to function. Having a well rounded education can allow individuals the ability to handle their own problems without seeking professional help. Knowing how to manipulate the programs within your car you can handle problems that would be extremely costly and many not even be fixable to a number of mechanics.

On the internet, there are a number of threats due to crackers, hackers and social engineers. Having the knowledge of how they preform their tasks can help individuals using this great tool to avoid it. When wanting updates on social media sights a good code writer can make a script to update them only on information they may find important. Such as, creating a script that informs them anytime a friend posts but ignores any forward links that may come from an author other then their friend.

2. Collaborated advancement of society.
Though the field of work someone picks may not be in the field of coding the knowledge of coding can be a key factor in the advancement of technology. Since, coding is an art form individuals who maintain their knowledge can use it to express themselves in the things they code. These new creations can be re-used by other coding artists to create a larger more advanced masterpiece. Linux is a fine example of this as it is a culmination of many different programmers and coders working together to make a work of art. This is a fine example of what a group of programmers over time can do but, what other life saving programs could be thought up in the future? Having a creative vision but lacking the skill to manifest it in any aspect of art can be a shame for society.

3. Coding used to increase knowledge in other fields
Coding when simplified is the applied use of Algebra. When you create a code you are simply using variables and making functions for the computer to use. These functions can also be used to estimate out formulas that are used in physics, chemistry and a number of different math. Having students use coding to help with their other subjects of study they can make experiments and projects within the code to help test out science experiments that may be too dangerous to test in the lab based on the formulas already defined within a field of study.


Thank you for the reply.

If all the information in sections 1,2, and 3 is true I pose to you a very simple reply.

"Coding when simplified is the applied use of Algebra"
All of the applications of coding may be useful in modern society however
when simplified it is applied Algebra. Elementary students typically are between ages 5-11
and Algebra is taught to high school students with pre algebra taught to middle school students.
How is it prudent to require students whom have just mastered multiplication and fractions to
learn a skill that demands an understanding of Mathematics that they will not have for years to come?
Debate Round No. 2


"Learning to code contains the same logic skills you apply in daily life: What is the problem? How can I solve the problem as efficiently as possible? Can my solution be helpful to others who are experiencing similar issues? If you can figure out the same steps from a programming perspective, it can help develop your logic and decision making skills to streamline the best solution to your problems. It"s not just about creating something out of a weird language, it"s learning to think like a programmer."(Nat Garun,2012)

Algabra is difficulty for those who do not have a basic understanding of it. By starting young with an understanding that you apply an represented number by a real number to get a real number can help when students get to Algabra. There is no need to teach them 100% coding just basic logic skills that can help them understand how a computer works. This can also be used to form processes within the human mind to help better the brain's learning ability.

"Just the attempt to try to learn javascript, as Codeacademy starts students out with, is a useful and eye-opening exercise, no matter what you do in life. By familiarizing yourself with concepts such as variables, functions, loops and conditional statements you will begin to understand the vocabulary upon with the post-modern world is built. Learning to think in code will enable you to find the appropriate level of code to engage with to communicate better with others and make your own ideas more valuable to them."(Anthony Kosner,2012)

It is not a simply a tool used in the modern world its a way of thinking. A method of creating a logical thought the ability to decide things in functions and series like a scientist would instead of trusting what your told about information you can take it in logically and question its output. Programming doesn't just create applications it creates a state of mind in which people can think for themselves.

"Key skills such as problem solving can be learnt through programming; the skill involves an "exact" way of thinking. Firstly a solution to the problem must be reached before the programmer can then begin to communicate their solution with the computer. Programs are a set of instructions that a computer must follow to perform a task and they are written in a programming language. To learn how to program you must achieve an understanding of the instructions (the programs control structure and how it works), the data (data types and sometimes objects involving attributes) and syntax (rules that decide how a program can be constructed) that are part of programming."(Cliff Manning, 2012)

To conclude my argument; Coding should be taught in elementary school so that young minds can learn to logically piece together information, so that they can learn to understand everything they learn in school. Instead, of simply memorizing it.

Nat Garun (2012) Coding 101 retrieved 8/20/2013 from

Anthony Wing Kosner(2012) Does everyone really need to program retrieved 8/20/2013 from

Cliff Manning(2012) Benefits of understanding programming retrieved 8/20/2013 from


PonticComet forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by frio937 3 years ago
Is anyone going to vote at all?
Posted by frio937 3 years ago
Glad to hear it. The site requests that I do some debates in order to be able to vote on debates. I am a programmer fluent in both C++/Java. I live on a farm and come from a long family of Mennonites which like the Amish are against the use of many technologies. I hope we have a good debate based on opinions and logic. Hopefully, neither of us carry emotional ties.
Posted by PonticComet 3 years ago
I will accept this tommorow, nothing I passionately hate more then technocracy and job-oriented education.
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