Primary-school children learn to code
Logical reasoning and computational thinking will be basic skills for pupils in the 1st Cycle, through the introduction of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in the national curriculum. This school year, Portuguese schools - public or private - are committed to a new “computing” curriculum, using playfulness as an approach to the topic.
Promoted by the Directorate-General for Education, teaching programming in Portuguese Primary Schools aims to boost creativity and help children as young as six. According to Maria João Horta, DGE, Directorate General for Education and member of the Technical Secretariat for Digital Competencies INCoDe.2030, the goal is ‘to teach children not just how to work a computer’ (source: DN Insider), but how a computer works and how to make it work for you’. To help children think logically. This type of thinking will be in all schools this school year, keeping in mind the importance of using programming to teach several subjects such as Portuguese, Mathematics or Environmental Studies, for the development of transversal competencies.
As revealed by the Directorate-General for Education in an interview with DN Insider, ‘teachers have to be able to teach using computational thinking, not to look at the code as something closed in itself’. Moreover, it is acknowledged that the change of syllabus will require an additional effort on the teachers’ part.