Study reveals the importance of computer science in primary education

Child in a Computer Science class learning to code

Study reveals that the teaching of Computer Science in primary education seems to improve assessment results in math and literacy.

Photo: Bigstock.com

Computer Science doesn’t play a fundamental role in primary education programs. The subjects that usually occupy most of the children's school time are Math and literacy. A recent study tries to demonstrate that adding CS to this mix can generate better education outcomes.

Researchers from the University of Chicago conducted a study in Broward County public schools, Florida, in which they used educational resources from Code.org (a non-profit organization that promotes computer education) to train teachers on teaching Computer Science fundamentals and implementing the "hour of code" initiative.

The initial data obtained is encouraging: on the one hand, computer teaching seems to improve the results of the literacy and mathematics assessments, and on the other, it shows the importance of teacher training in educational success.

This first analysis shows that the students whose teachers had more training in the programs of Code.org obtained better assessments of reading, writing, science, and mathematics. Also, the more resourceful a teacher is, the higher the degree of success that his pupils demonstrate in evaluations.

Specialists from Code.org state that teaching of Computer Science in early educational stages fosters problem-solving skills and perseverance in challenging tasks.

Although the study is still ongoing, this first approach reflects that education in Computer Science should play a more relevant role in educational programs. The technological challenges that lie ahead will demand new skills that education needs to address as soon as possible. Teaching support and training are critical to accomplish this task.