More and more jobs are requiring some knowledge about how computers work. Not just how to start one up and surf the web, but how they actually run, how—at the simplest level—a series of inputs leads to a series of particular outputs.
Yet, across the United States, few children are being taught even the basics of computer science. It’s a discipline left largely to the self-motivated YouTube watchers and the kids lucky enough to be born into tech-minded families with resources.
According to a new national survey from Google and Gallup, just more than half of seventh- through 12th-grade students attend a school that offers a dedicated computer-science class. Black students are less likely than their white peers to have access to such courses, and teachers and parents are more likely to tell boys that they would be good at computer science than they are girls. That adisproportionate number of technical workers at companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook are white and male is no surprise.
But a group of nonprofits, educators, tech companies, states, and districts want to change that. And after more than a year of work, a carefully crafted yet adaptable framework for what computer-science education should look like at each grade level went live this week. The writers hope it will help more states craft standards and ultimately bring the subject to classrooms across the country.
The K-12 Computer Science Framework is a “response to the history of inequity in computer science,” said Pat Yongpradit, the chief academic officer atCode.org, one of the organizations steering the initiative.
People had different motivations for participating. Some wanted to make sure their states have a strong pipeline of workers to fill local tech jobs. Others think basic coding is up there with reading and writing as a skillset that 21st-century American students need to possess. And still others hope that creating a framework will help roll back the mindset that computer science is for a select few, and begin to diversify what is a largely white, male space.
Read more here: www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/10/a-plan-to-teach-every-child-computer-science/504587/