Teach Computing

Sharing thoughts and ideas about teaching computing in school

The most valuable thing it is possible for education to do…

“The most valuable thing it is possible for education to do- teach you about your place in world and your capability to change that place and that world” Ant Miller

During discussions with Ian Forrester and Michael Sparks, it was suggested I make contact with him and read of some of the work of Ant Miller

“Ant embodies all that’s good about the BBC – imagination applied with a sense of fun and a commitment to quality, an openness intent on reaching out to people and organisations outwith the BBC, and an instinct for the common good. He blogs for work on the Research and Development subsite, and blogs for himself at Reithian

Here is an interview with Ant Miller written by Josette Garcia from which I have extracted some highly relevant sections

“We need to get over this idea of the two cultures that has been so fundamental to the way the education system has worked in the UK for many years. Technology, practical knowledge, industriousness, these are not the preserve of an uncreative, utilitarian group within society – these are the marks of a true and full citizen, a member of society, a full member who makes that society better by ideas and things. Somehow the US and Germany, and I think even France have a greater understanding of the nobility of fabrication, true making, than we have. People like James Dyson and Tim Berners-Lee are somehow exotic, weird outliers in our culture. I’ve got masses of time for Christopher Hitchens and A C Grayling, but there’s no way I’d put a thinker and artist above a maker, an engineer, a designer or scientist. All of these people explore ideas and build a better world, and we have to recognise that PPE or Classics degree confers no higher cachet than an MEng or BSc.”

creative idea + embodied rules set = reality you can change

“Wow, big rant, anyway, yes Mindstorms is/are good, but something like Arduino or mbed is great too, an extension that is valuable because it’s less toy like, but still very accessible. It makes you realise this is a serious sensible way to engage with reality, it enforces the concept that ‘creative idea plus embodied rules set equals reality YOU CAN CHANGE’. That is the core idea of programming, and to an extent engineering and applied science (though the object there is to figure out what that rules set is!). The point is not that these tools teach programming, useful though that is. They do the most valuable thing it is possible for education to do, they teach you about your place in the world and your capability to change that place and that world.”

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This entry was posted on October 9, 2011 by in Uncategorized.

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