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Elementary schools kids, as young as first graders, to learn coding in Canada

/ 07:34 PM June 24, 2020
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Elementary school students will be learning about coding and financial literacy as early as the first grade as a new math curriculum has been introduced in Ontario, Canada.

The said fields will be taught to young learners “to better prepare students for work in a rapidly changing world, strengthen math competence and improve grades” the Ontario government said in a release yesterday, June 23.

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The move was developed for two years with the help of math educators, academics and math education experts, as well as parents.

The curriculum, “designed to reverse a decade of declining math scores,” will be available in Ontario starting September.

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“I made a promise to parents that we would fix the broken education system we inherited, get back to basics, and teach our children the math fundamentals they need for lifelong success,” premier Doug Ford said.

“Today, our government is delivering on that promise with the first-ever math curriculum in Canada for Grades [1 to 8] that includes the teaching of coding and financial literacy, both critical skills that will help our students prepare for and succeed in the modern world and in the modern workforce,” the Ontario premier added.

The curriculum aims to “build understanding of the value and use of money through mandatory financial literacy concepts” and “teach coding or computer programming skills starting in Grade 1 to improve [problem-solving] and fluency with technology,” among several other goals.

The move will be the first update to the province’s math curriculum since 2005.

“For over a decade, too many students were lacking everyday math, financial literacy, and numeracy skills,” Health Minister Stephen Lecce said. “The new curriculum will help students solve everyday math problems, enshrine financial literacy in the early grades, and better prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow by ensuring every student learns how to code.”

The Ontario government noted that educators will still benefit from investments in professional development and math supports, including $10 million for board-based math learning leads and $15 million for school-based math learning facilitators.

Another $15 million has also been pledged “to support release time for educators to become expertly familiar with the curriculum.” JB

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TAGS: Canada, coding, computer programming, curriculum, Education, elementary, Financial literacy, Mathematics, Ontario
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