Comedian and maths geek, Adam Spencer just wrapped up is morning keynote at the MoodleMoot conference in Melbourne. After explaining the world’s search for large prime numbers, Spencer moved on to reflect on Australia’s education system. He says there’s currently no point in his daughter’s education plan (she’s 7), where her school is including coding subjects.
Spencer went on to say just how crazy that is, given programming’s importance in the future of business and productivity in Australia. It’s important that kids are exposed to as many different aspects of life to find the part that best fits with them and will lead to a career but more importantly an ability to peruse their passion.
In a measured expiration, he says that he doesn’t expect that every kid should be forced to take programming in year 12, but to not even have exposure to it, is unacceptable.
Spencer received a round of applause for the 500+ attendees when he said “If we were to expose even 10% of our kids to programming, we won’t recognize Australia in 20 years from now”.
Personally I completely agree, programming is dear to my heart and the ability to have an idea and execute on it is an amazing skill to have. Better yet, the thinking process required for advanced problem solving can be applied to many walks of life. I’d go further that Spencer and suggest we should have a clear trajectory from primary to secondary education where students knowledge of maths, science and programming so they leave education with a solid understand and set of skills that will service their careers and lives into the future.