Programming & coding policies: where are we at European level?

Industry representatives, Ministries of Education and non-profit organisations met on June 9 at European Schoolnet's premises to take stock of what has been done to promote coding and computational thinking at all levels of education.

Coding and computer science are more and more being viewed as a key competence, both within the education system and in the workforce, in industries and professions that would not have traditionally required advanced technical skills. Coding can be used to teach logical reasoning, one of the key skills which have come to be regarded as one of the “21st century skills”, essential for succeeding both in the workplace and society of today.

In July 2014, the European Coding Initiative (www.allyouneediscode.eu) including European Schoolnet, Facebook, Liberty Global, Microsoft and SAP, was created to promote coding and computational thinking at all levels of education, as well as in more informal settings. The initiative has brought together organisations from industry and the non-profit sector in recognition of the vital need to empower young people to understand the theory and application of coding. European Commissioners such as former Vice-President Neelie Kroes, current Vice-President Ansip and Commissioner Oettinger have endorsed the initiative under the framework of the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs.

A year on, where are we at European level? How did Ministries of Education from various countries react to call for action from the European stakeholders and the private sector?  How do you train teachers to teach a new “language”? Is a public-private partnership possible to support change? How can extra-curricular activities support and accelerate the process to provide pupils with the necessary skills?
The European Coding Initiative workshop addressed those questions and provided an overview on the situation on teaching computer programming and coding skills in school curricula in Europe, along with concrete example of public and private initiatives launched recently and aimed at teachers and pupils. 

Download  the presentations (pdfs):