Computing education in children’s early years

TitleComputing education in children’s early years
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsManches A, Plowman L
Abstract

International changes in policy and curricula (notably recent developments in England) have led to a focus on the role of computing education in the early years. As interest in the potential of computing education has increased, there has been a proliferation of programming tools designed for young children. While these changes are broadly to be welcomed, the pace of change has arguably led to more attention to the tools than to key questions about pedagogy.This paper proposes three areas of research (Logo, computational thinking, and teaching STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics) that may inform computing education for young children and suggests that a greater focus on thinking skills and connections to manifestations of computers in the real world is needed. Above all, the paper calls for an informed debate about the trend towards introducing computing education to children in the early years.International changes in policy and curricula (notably recent developments in England) have led to a focus on the role of computing education in the early years. As interest in the potential of computing education has increased, there has been a proliferation of programming tools designed for young children. While these changes are broadly to be welcomed, the pace of change has arguably led to more attention to the tools than to key questions about pedagogy.This paper proposes three areas of research (Logo, computational thinking, and teaching STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics) that may inform computing education for young children and suggests that a greater focus on thinking skills and connections to manifestations of computers in the real world is needed. Above all, the paper calls for an informed debate about the trend towards introducing computing education to children in the early years.