The Thames Valley District School Board is calling on the province to add coding to the elementary curriculum.
A motion requesting just that and also asking that letters be sent to all public school boards in Ontario to ask for support was passed at last night’s school board meeting.
“Coding is simply a precise set of instructions that a coder gives to a computer but it’s not just about typing syntax into the computer it’s about teaching kids about logic, teaching kids about computational thinking,” says Trustee Jake Skinner who brought forward the motion.
“The most important thing when it comes to this idea of teaching kids how to code and teaching them the principles behind coding is that it moves them from being this helpless bystander when it comes to technology to being a technological author.”
Skinner adds that other jurisdictions have already moved ahead with this, including Nova Scotia and British Columbia in Canada as well as parts of the UK and Australia.
“The curriculum needs to be built for the age that we live in. We used to teach Latin and that was good for that time, but in today’s environment coding needs to be added to the curriculum. It’s necessary to do it now. It’s all in the hands of the Minister of Education so I hope that they see how urgent this is.”
Tuesday night’s motion will see the TVDSB formally ask the province to add coding to the curriculum as well as send letters to other school boards and the Ontario Public School Board Association asking for support.
Skinner says it’s unlikely coding would become part of the curriculum by the next school year as consultations and budgeting would need to take place first.