Quote from Michael on December 3, 2011, 12:00
But I don't think I've heard any of the Trustees enumerate all of the ten reasons - perhaps this would make a good topic for a future blog article?
Good question, and I would refer you to http://www.computingatschool.org.uk/
Let me try to answer:
1. No examples/mentors/role models: "I don't know anyone who codes"
2. Access: About 20% of UK people do not own a computer (source OFCOM 2008) Those that do are often discouraged from experimenting. In other countries, or in the lower socio economic groups access is even more limited
3. Expense: "Development systems cost hundreds of pounds, and are hard to use"
4. Fear. "If I type the wrong thing I might break it" “We can’t let students write or run their own code on the schools system, as they might introduce a virus”
5. Complexity. The learning curve to get started, for example to program in VB on a PC is quite steep. Some systems (for example Android) cannot be natively programmed
6. Culture: "Coding is only for propeller heads/boys/geeks" “Computer people are all like the IT crowd”
7. Computing is “just more ICT” as presently taught in UK schools – boring
8. Lack of skills base in schools: "I know more about computers than my ICT teacher, who usually teaches PE and RI" “I don’t know where to start and my teacher can’t help”
9. Perceived difficulty: "I can't write anything significant on my own - it takes a big team”
10. Career Prospects: "Coding leads to low paid jobs" "Coding jobs are all offshore" “The school points system/University entrance doesn’t value Computing”
These are roughly in the inverse order to the ACCTO criteria (Advantage, Complexity, Compatibility, Trialability, Observability) criteria of Everett Rogers
given in his book "Diffusion of Innovation"
We might be able to do something about the first 5.