Hi there. This news has shown up in my province of Ontario in Canada. I have two links from two news articles and will share my thoughts on this matter.
The provincial government of Ontario led by the Progressive Conservative Party Of Ontario has announced today a new Ontario mathematics curriculum . This new 2020 curriculum replaces the 2005 curriculum and it now includes personal finance and computing coding starting in Grade One (about age 6/7).
This news article (Link 2) mentions this:
Starting this September, students in Ontario public schools will begin learning mathematics with more emphasis on a “back to basics” approach, with certain concepts introduced in earlier grades and other concepts pushed into higher ones.
Throughout grades one to eight, children will learn concepts related to coding for the first time.
They will also learn about personal finance in each grade, and they will learn about measurements of data storage, such as a byte, kilobyte, megabyte and gigabyte, alongside the other units of measurement they learned previously.
According to this news article (Link 1), there is on critic who thinks the timing of this is "irresponsible". (NDP stands for New Democratic Party)
NDP Education Critic Marit Stiles slammed the government for introducing such major change during the COVID-19 pandemic and all the planning that needs to be done for schools to reopen in the fall, urging them to postpone the reforms.
“Dropping a new math curriculum during the middle of a pandemic is completely irresponsible,” she said.
The government “has not bothered to consider the additional burden this will cause for teachers, and for parents who are already struggling to help their children learn from home. Educators are focused on meeting student needs during the COVID-19 crisis, and September will already be a big challenge.”
My Initial Thoughts On This
The timing of this announcement is not a big concern for me.
I am not sure about as early as grade one for coding. There is a push to "attract" people into learning programming. To start at grade one is pushing it way too hard in my opinion. Young kids need time for their brains and bodies to develop. I would be interested in how the coding is taught.
Plotting coordinates in grade four instead of grade six is ambitious but it sounds doable. (Link 2)
Learning to tell time on a round clock with hands moved from Grade 1 to Grade 3 is okay I think.
What is this financial literacy curriculum from grade 1 to grade 8?? Are we counting money, talking about savings?, how banks work? and so on. I want to see how it turns out.
I wonder how the (generalist) teachers in Ontario will be able to teach coding, personal finance to young kids without the kids being confused.
For the reader, what is the math curriculum like in your area? Is it too easy, too hard or is it just right?