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Universal procedural literacy / computational thinking

Introduce foundational programming skills to all students at least by the middle-school level.

 

A procedural literacy program could bootstrap from the computer skills (including the use of spreadsheets, programming in a data-flow paradigm), but should quickly move to take a more universal role across broader areas of knowledge. Computational thinking is important not only in STEM careers, but business/marketing and even the arts where media computation and generative art are gaining traction (especially on the Internet).

 

Programming-ifying math, science, art, and econ/govt topics is feasible strategy that has not seriously been pursued by any other nation (to my knowledge) and represents a very significant opportunity for the United States to revitalized its educational state.

 

It is not important that all students learn to program, but at least that they can read and write formal descriptions of process and understand how this skill can be applied to any(!) domain.

 

Basic arithmetic no longer provides a sufficient level of literacy (numeracy) in our highly technological culture, nor does it lend itself to self-learning as it is current taught. Being able to communicate with and understand the potential to modify algorithms/processes is a much better base skill, and it is one that invites the learner to learn more through its very practice.

 

Quick, someone post a reply proposing a concise alternative to the 3 R's with lots of Ps instead!

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Idea No. 14