Google’s Eric Schmidt critiques lack of CS in UK education, and what the UK is doing about it

September 20, 2011 at 10:03 am 1 comment

Of course, the US system is liable for the same criticism.  But at least the UK is doing something about it.  There was just announced an effort to teach software development in UK schools, and soon-to-be released Computing in Schools report is expected to lead to more and improved computing education in UK schools.

UK teachers putting the final touches to lessons plans for the new academic year were this week hit by harsh criticism from Google Chairman Eric Schmidt.  Speaking in Edinburgh recently Schmidt had this to say about the UK educational system:

“I was flabbergasted to learn that today computer science isn’t even taught as standard in U.K. schools. Your IT curriculum focuses on teaching how to use software, but it doesn’t teach people how it’s made. It risks throwing away your great computing heritage.”

Schmidt went on to lament the growing divergence between science and arts and called on educators to “re-ignite children’s passion for science, engineering and math.”  What he was saying is that giving children the skills to merely use computers is not enough. We need creators and innovators – education should inspire children to push the boundaries of what is possible and come up with new ‘best ways’ that us adults have never even thought of.

via Teaching the innovators of tomorrow | revUp 117.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , , .

Ed Week: A Teacher Finds Good in Testing New Danish Computing Curriculum for Schools: Guest post from Michael Caspersen

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. John "Z-Bo" Zabroski  |  September 20, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Where is the evidence that the UK is worse off than the USA in Computer Science literacy?

    I tried to find the OFSTEDT 2009 report that spurred this, and all I can find is pretentious quotes that convey no evidence, such as:

    The dismay of Ofsted inspectors is clear, for example they note that “…many students were following qualifications of doubtful value.”. Looking more deeply the report notes that “…standards in using spreadsheets, databases and programming remained low.”.

    Why do we live in a culture obsessed with direct measurement of every activity? Placing standards on databases and programming is like judging how effectively a drunk wrapped his car around a lamppost instead of measuring his BAC!

    Isn’t the UK’s general ability in databases and programming better served by comparing their mathematics curriculum?

    Reply

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