Tuesday, September 27, 2011

It is About Knowing the World We Live In

Mark Guzdial:

Another powerful reason for universal computing literacy is that it’s about knowing the world we live in. Why do we teach students the periodic table and the difference between meiosis and mitosis? It’s mostly not because of job skills. It’s because people live in a world where chemistry and biology matter. Today, we all live in a world where computing matters. Knowing about the inherent limitations of digital representations is more important to most people’s daily lives than knowing about meiosis and mitosis.

Setting aside the Javascript vs. DNA aspect of this, it is always worth noting that our discourse about education tends to dance around this basic goal of students becoming able to know and understand the world they live in. It is a better frame than most.

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