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Question 7
Posted:
Mar 11, 2001 3:26 AM



Why integrate computer science into the high school curriculum? Why not?
I haven''t taken every math course in the world (yet) but of the ones I've taken, the logic which is followed in computer science is very different from every other type of math. There are similarities, but it is the differences which students can benefit from, in many ways. For example, even if the student doesn't do any programming in real life, this is a great way to improve critical thinking skills that can be applied to problem solving in other activities. It also encourages students to become programmers in the event that's something you want do do in China. And with the way the PC has made programming so easy, it's a handy skill for anyone with a PC to have.
Why not do it? If schools in China are like the ones in the US, where less than 6% of the population has been taught calculus, then you should make calculus your top priority and put computer science in a secondary position. If your schools are like Japan's, where 88% of the population has been taught calculus, then that reason for not doing it goes away. Another reason for not doing it is the chance that traditional computer science is displaced by some other technology, but the odds of that are slimmer now than ever. Digital computing is here to stay. A third reason for not doing it is the disturbing data which shows that students who have access to computers score lower in math than those who don't. If this is because students with computers tend to rely more on the computer than on their own math skills, then you need to be sure that any student who takes computer science already has a well defined math skill.
Hope this helps.
Sincerely,
John Knight



