From Rich Barlow writing at BU Today,
Should the three Rs be four Rs, as in reading, ’riting, ’rithmetic, and ’rogramming? That’s the argument made by Carnegie Mellon computer scientist Jeannette Wing and increasingly by academics from a broad spectrum of disciplines. They insist American education is shorting students, even those who’ll be poets and philosophers, by failing to equip them with the basics of “computational thinking,” the general ideas undergirding computing.
Please read the whole piece.
Everyone should experience the thought process that goes into programming. It’s part of a modern liberal education. We will not all be mathematicians, chemists, biologists, or physicists but knowing some mathematics, chemistry, biology, and physics is part of a modern liberal education. We will not all be historians, philosophers, or literary critics but knowing some history, philosophy, and literay criticism is part of a modern liberal education. The same is true of programing. It’s not just a vocational skill. It’s also thought process applicable to a wide range of things including the humanities.
As Barlow’s piece points out, there may be a practical payoff for humanists but, more importantly I think, there is a conceptual payoff. Learning to think in a new and highly disciplined fashion is a good thing.
Via Jack Sasson’s Agade List