The Instigator
emsydco
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Biodome
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points

Should Schools Teach Coding?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Biodome
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/25/2015 Category: Technology
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 507 times Debate No: 74181
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (1)

 

emsydco

Con

I think schools should not teach coding. Coding can be difficult. I am in the Gifted and Talented group at my school and I tried coding. Some things I found hard. Kids could get frustrated very easily and cause problems for other students. Also, if the children stare at the screen too much at school, the go home and go on the computer for homework or fun, they could get eye diseases and bad headaches. Coding should be a hobby. Many fun websites, like scrach.org have fun, at home coding for kids. Will coding helps kids later on in life? Depends. Is it important for any type of job, like LA or math? No. My final reason is that kids can code inappropriate stuff at school, and get in trouble, like suspension. Then, they can not learn other important things. Therefore, I think coding should not be taught at school.
Biodome

Pro

Greetings to my opponent, who initiated this interesting debate. I am sorry for taking so long to post this argument, and I apologize in advance if that happens in further rounds as well - I have been a bit busy lately. But I will do my best to keep up with the deadlines of the debate and make sure that I don't forfeit any rounds. Good luck!

I will assume that the Burden of Proof is shared, as we are basically comparing two distinct choices here that schools can make. Both of us will have to present the reasons why coding lessons or the lack of coding lessons is a good, desirable and beneficial thing. I will use the 1st Round to present my argument, and then I will use the remaining rounds in order to rebut my opponent's argument and rebut his rebuttals.

1. There exists a demand for technologically skilled workers.

One of the main reasons why some schools have made coding lessons compulsory, is the fact that there actually is a shortage of skilled workers in the technology sector. If we take a look at some example countries, for instance, United Kingdom, we can see that this is indeed the case. What makes it worse is the fact that there is more and more demand each year:



It is therefore necessary for the government of the country to do something in order to stop this increase in the shortage of skilled workers. One of the obvious ways is to increase technological literacy through compulsory education, resulting in an increase of competent and knowledgeable people in the field of computer science, resulting in a better balance of the supply & demand of workers.

2. It is good for the economy of the country.

The increase of technologically literate people through education will inevitably lead to an increase of new projects, companies and startups in the field of technology. This will encourage investment and support, which will lead to better economical environment in the country. I will now present an example from Israel. While one may argue that it is an extreme example, I think that similar economical forces would apply to any country.

Israel has recently accomplished many feats in the technology sector. Some examples [1]:
a) The financing of startup companies has increased from $282 million to $598 million.
b) Some companies in Israel are now seeking to raise record-breaking sums of money for the development of their technology, which would have been impossible several years ago. For instance, Mobileye is expecting to receive $638 million.
c) As a result of such changes, Israel has become one of the world's leading countries in technological research and development, attracting worldwide attention and investment.

Therefore, we can see that countries which focus on the technological sector are likely to become more successful and enjoy a more stable economy. Indeed, the technological sector of Israel has now even become practically immune to the Gaza War, attracting investment and support even in such hostile conditions.

3. Computer Science education allows access to state of the art technology.

Technologically literate students can start using state of the art technology, such as 3D Printers. Conversely, schools that do not teach coding would not adequately prepare students for such technology, or, indeed, the technology sector, which, as I mentioned earlier, is crucial to the development of the country.

There have been several pilot studies, where students have been allowed to use 3D Printers, as part of their curriculum. The results of these studies were unambiguously good. Students have applied these devices in design and technology lessons, sciences, computing, engineering and mathematics. [2]

We can therefore see that compulsory coding lessons would allow students to fully use state of the art technology, which in itself would facilitate learning not only in technology lessons, but also in other subjects, such as sciences and maths, developing new and innovative ways of teaching and learning.

4. Coding lessons teach more than just technological literacy.

While the knowledge of how to code and how to develop applications is an important aspect of computing classes, these are not the only benefits.

Firstly, students learn how to think creatively and use their imagination; they also learn logical and numerical ways of thinking. Sophie Deen, head of Code Club Pro, has said that: "We’re not just trying to encourage people to become developers. We’re trying to encourage children to become creative." Bill Mitchell, director of education at BCS, has said that "If you teach computing and do it right, you can help children develop their learning in literacy and numeracy." [3]

Therefore, Coding lessons are bound to develop the student's mind and skills in a variety of ways, rather than simply teaching pure knowledge of coding. These newly learned skills would certainly provide the students with more choices on their further studies and careers. I believe that keeping as many options open as possible is beneficial to the student.

5. Teaching coding has become easier and more exciting than ever.

Some of my previous arguments about 3D Printers somewhat apply to this, but I also want to emphasize additional and innovative means of teaching.

Coding might have been stereotypically considered as something very difficult, confusing and boring. But with our current technology, it has become very accessible. Take MOOCs, KhanAcademy or Codecademy as an example.

Codecademy, for instance, allows very simple, accessible and elegant way of teaching various coding languages, such as Python, PHP, javascript, and Ruby. It has been so effective, that many of the schools have incorporated this into their curriculum. These are effective teaching aids, because they supply very detailed statistics to the teachers on their students' progress, while also motivating the students themselves through a variety of ways. [5] Such technology was not available several years ago, yet now some schools cannot live without it.

To put it short, if it has become so easy and effective, why not do it, especially considering that it would be beneficial to the economy of the country?

---

This is basically my argument for compulsory coding. I will do some further research and will hopefully provide more studies and statistics on why that is beneficial throughout the debate. Anyway, I will now await the rebuttals of my opponent in the next round.


Sources:

[1] http://www.bloomberg.com...
[2] https://www.gov.uk...
[3] http://www.theguardian.com...
[4] http://www.telegraph.co.uk...
[5] http://www.telegraph.co.uk...
Debate Round No. 1
emsydco

Con

I would like to start by saying I'm a "she" not a "he."
I still think schools should not teach coding. If the tech education is low in the U.K, it could be taught in special classes. if it is taught at a school, it takes away from other subjects. For example, math class used to be 45 minutes. Then the school adds coding. They make the coding class 15 minutes. They take away those minutes from math, and now math is only 35 minutes long. The teacher may not have enough time to teach a full lesson. They might spend 5 minutes on a problem of the day. Then 10 minutes checking homework. 10+5=15. 35-15=20. Now the teacher only has 20 minutes to teach a lesson. They spend 10 minutes teaching the lesson. Now the students only have 10m minutes to finish at least 2 pages of work. Coding could take away from valuable subjects and learning opportunities. If children want to learn coding, they could learn it at home or at a special class, maybe after school or at recess. My elementary school has a programming club that lasts 3 weeks. I think that is the best route for teaching coding.
Biodome

Pro

I thank my opponent for continuing the debate. Also I apologize for using the wrong pronoun - I was not aware of my opponent's gender.

Firstly, I'll try to rebut some of my opponent's claims which were made in the 1st Round. Then, I will move on to what was said in the 2nd Round.

1. Compulsory subjects need not be easy.

My opponent claims that, on the grounds that coding is difficult, it should not be a compulsory subject. I disagree, on the basis that the difficulty of a subject should not be an important criterion for deciding whether it should be compulsory or not. There are a few reasons for this.

Firstly, difficulty is a subjective thing. Some students might find coding simple and easy, just like other students might find it difficult and complicated. This, in fact, applies to other subjects as well. Mathematics, Life Sciences, Physics, Literature etc. It seems obvious to me that all students have their distinct preferences for subjects and different skills and talents. But that doesn't mean that we should throw out important subjects and let students choose the easy stuff. That would lead to a very limited education, as students would simply not focus on the things that they find complicated. Primary and Secondary education should be general in nature, and give students an overview of all subjects and fields. This provides them with flexibility and a broader knowledge, so that in the future they will be able to choose their further careers or specialized studies from a wide range of fields.

2. Coding is not a health hazard.

My opponent claims that coding can be a health hazard, asserting that staring at screens too much would lead to "eye diseases and bad headaches." I would like my opponent to cite sources to support her claim, as I have never heard that students who are learning to code have a significantly increased risk of such problems. In fact, I would say that computer screens do not cause any such harm. While any intense eye activity over time results in tired eyes, the claim that such activity results in eye diseases or worsened sight seems like a myth. [1]

3. Coding could be important later in life.

My opponent says that coding should be a hobby, rather than a school subject, reasoning that it will not necessarily be required later in life: "Will coding helps kids later on in life? Depends. Is it important for any type of job, like LA or math? No."

But I would argue that Maths or Language arts are not necessarily required either, depending on the student's choices. The thing here is simple - Primary or Secondary Education should seek to provide a broad knowledge of subjects, rather than a very specific knowledge, which is what higher education does. Indeed, a lot of what you learn during Secondary Education will probably be of little to no use for your career, but that does not mean that we should make most subjects into hobbies.

A lot of secondary school students will not have made up their minds of which field they want to pursue in life, so it makes sense to teach them important subjects like Maths and Coding so that they are prepared for their choices in the future. I would also disagree with my opponent that coding is not as important as LA or maths, and I have given a lot of examples for this in my previous argument.

In essence, this is why I would not agree with such statements that coding should be just a hobby or a club/home activity. Since coding is just as important as Maths or LA, I would argue that this knowledge has to be taught to students.

4. Will coding really lead to suspension of students?

My opponent argues that students will use their knowledge of coding to code inappropriate stuff, which will lead to trouble, such as suspension, which will in turn cause problems for their education.

But that is simply a slippery slope argument [2], as my opponent has not provided any good reason why coding classes will necessarily result in such extremes.

5. Does Coding really take away from learning opportunities?

My opponent provided me with a long example of how coding supposedly left no time for other subjects. But I would classify this simply as anecdotal evidence, and for me to take this example seriously, my opponent would have to provide sources, which show that such disorganization is widespread in schools, and that it happens specifically due to coding being implemented.

There is no reason why coding could not be well-balanced with other subjects. In fact, most schools provide a well structured curriculum, so that students have the opportunity to learn everything they need, including coding, during their classes. I could see some single teachers failing to adequately plan for their classes and failing to structurize their time, but I fail to see why this is a problem necessarily caused by coding, and why such problem could not be fixed by other means, rather than removing coding from the curriculum itself.


With this I will end my rebuttal for this round. I maintain that coding is an important subject - not just for the students themselves, but also for the society and the economy of the country as a whole. My opponent seems to ignore the necessity of coding that I emphasized in my 1st Round argument. Removing coding from schools and leaving it to hobbyists and clubs would not encourage students to learn coding, and that would not be beneficial in any way.

I still cannot see any good reasons, why the removal of coding is beneficial in any shape or form. But I have on several cases provided reasons for the contrary position.


Sources:

[1] http://www.health.harvard.edu...
[2] http://rationalwiki.org...
Debate Round No. 2
emsydco

Con

well, I give up. You have persuaded me that coding should be taught at school, and now I agree that it can be very important.
Biodome

Pro

Well, I didn't expect a concession like this. Usually, debates go on even though one is persuaded by the other position, just for the sake of argument. You can always be a devil's advocate in such cases.

Anyway, I believe this was a good debate for both of us. Thanks for your input!
Debate Round No. 3
emsydco

Con

emsydco forfeited this round.
Biodome

Pro

Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Biodome 1 year ago
Biodome
Thank you for the challenge. I'll post my argument in a day or two. Hopefully, this debate will be interesting and enjoyable.
Posted by emsydco 1 year ago
emsydco
i have changed the limit of characters
Posted by Biodome 1 year ago
Biodome
It seems that I cannot send you any personal messages. Have you turned that function off or something? I would agree to debate you if you increased the character limit to at least 8,000. I won't necessarily write that much, but I think that 3,000 is too limiting. Could you do that? If not, then I'll let someone else take the challenge.
Posted by emsydco 1 year ago
emsydco
i have challeged biodome, message me if u want to debate w/ me
Posted by Biodome 1 year ago
Biodome
I would gladly debate this with you.
Posted by EAT_IT_SUKA 1 year ago
EAT_IT_SUKA
I want to debate this topic with you.
Posted by iqpiblog 1 year ago
iqpiblog
you raise valid objections...........but

i believe that kids should start to get specialist teaching in the areas they wish to pursue further

there needs to be some stricter guidelines to ensure students' eyes are better protected

btw..............can u tell me more about what coding is? is this programming?
Posted by Himans45 1 year ago
Himans45
I'd like to debate this, but the criteria is set so I cannot. Invite me to the debate if you may.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by The-Voice-of-Truth 1 year ago
The-Voice-of-Truth
emsydcoBiodomeTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession by Con. The Conduct point is tied as Con conceded, but then promptly FF'd. Sources go to Pro for reasons that do not necessarily need to be explained.