Mary Rose Cook's notebook

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An account of how computer science is taught at school in Vietnam

Neil Fraser: News: CS in VN

I had walked into that high school class prepared to help them in any way that I could. But instead of the school learning from my experience, I learned from them. They showed how computer science education should be done. Start everyone early, and offer those who are passionate about the subject limitless room to grow.


School boards fight to keep CS out of schools, since every minute spent on CS is one less minute spent on core subjects like English and math. The students’ test scores in these core subjects determine next year’s funding, so CS is a threat.

Teachers often refuse to teach real CS because more often than not they don’t understand it. Instead, they end up teaching word processing and website construction, while calling it CS.

Parents often oppose CS classes since the grade has no direct benefit on their child’s academic prospects. This is compounded by a lack of understanding of the difference between their child playing video games and their child writing video games.

Students intentionally tune out of CS class since there are few things worse in American high school than being labelled a nerd.