Coinciding with the UK Hour of Code happening this week, Tablets for Schools has released a research on coding in schools, carried out by Family, Kids and Youth. The research looks into student and school leadership perceptions on the introduction of coding into the curriculum. Nine secondary schools taking part in Tablets for Schools’ research did the survey in January 2014. Over 3500 responses were received.
The general perception of the inclusion of coding into the curriculum was positive – the vast majority believe that coding/computer programming is relevant to students. Also, school leaders believe that coding will prepare students for the jobs of the future, and also help students develop mathematical and scientific skills.
“We are living in a world where we are educating children for jobs that might not yet exist, so they need the skills of being able to critically analyse processes.” - Teacher
However, the main issue was one of confidence. There was also concern that coding not be taught at the expense of other ICT skills.
Highlights of The Research
36 school leaders were interviewed:
75% said that coding/programming will be relevant to their students.
As indicated in the graph below, 47% are confident about the introduction of coding into the curriculum, 33% are not confident. Schools that have been teaching computing and coding for years are more confident in their ability to implement the changes. Other schools are struggling to make sure they have qualified staff within what is felt to be a short timeframe.
The research found that schools are definitely taking positive steps in preparing for the new curriculum, including purchasing coding software, hiring ICT teachers and collaborating with experienced schools. However, it seems that their confidence in coding could be influenced by the following:
The challenge of teacher training.
Resourcing: One school leader noted: “We are…limited in terms of available technology…and therefore feel slightly ill equipped.”
Children’s varying literacy skills and experience with computers.
For more information on coding and the curriculm, you can see our Coding & the UK Curriculm and Coding Resources Section