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Computing our future: Computer programming and coding - Priorities, school curricula and initiatives across Europe

Authors:
Update
2015
Computing
our future
Computer programming and coding
Priorities, school curricula and initiatives
across Europe
2 3
Publisher:
European Schoolnet
(EUN Partnership AIBSL)
Rue de Treves 61
1040 Brussels
Belgium
Contributors:
Anja Balanskat, Katja Engelhardt
Published:
October 2015
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)
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This publication has been funded with support from the Executive Agency for
Small and Mediumsized Enterprises (EASME). Neither the European Commission,
the EASME or other European institutions nor any person acting on their behalf is
responsible for the use which might be made of the information contained herein
or for any errors, which, despite careful preparation and checking, may appear.
The views in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect
the official position of the EASME, the European Commission or other European
institutions.
Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
Executive Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
2. Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
3. Integrating coding skills in the curriculum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
4. Skill priorities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
5. Level of curriculum integration (current and futur e) . . . . . . . . . . 35
6. Curriculum location and integration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
7. Assessment of coding skills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
8. Evaluations of coding initiatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
9. Teacher training and initiatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
10. Colla borat ion wit h key stakeholders in the eld . . . . . . . . . . . 71
11. Annex I: Terms used for coding at national level . . . . . . . . . . . 76
12. Annex II: Digital Competence plans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
13. Annex III: Curriculum integration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
14. Annex IV: Links to initiatives supporting teaching and learning coding . 80
15. Annex V: Countr y codes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
16. Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
Table of content
4 5
Preface
Marc Durando, Executive Director of European Schoolnet
Digital competences and skills are one of the
main conditions for the success of the digital
transformation in Europe, its growth, and the
wellbeing of citizens and society as stated in
the Digital Single Market Strategy launched by
Vice President Andrus Ansip on 6 May 2015.
The challenge for the Education sector is to upskill the future workforce,
but more importantly to empower young people with the competences to
master and create their own digital technologies, and thrive in the society
of today. We believe that teaching and learning how to code, in formal and
non-formal education settings, will play a significant role in this process. In
May 2014, DG CONNECT invited European Schoolnet to take the lead of
an industry driven coalition and set up a neutral platform for the promotion
of teaching and learning programming and coding. The result of this call to
action was the founding of a European Coding Initiative.
In October 2014, the former Vice President of the European Commission
Neelie Kroes officially launched the Initiative and the all you need is {C<3DE}
website for students, teachers and adults who want to try out coding for the
first time, and to discover what opportunities it can open up for them.
The Coding Initiative contributed to supporting the political momentum for
a stronger integration of coding in K12 education. In 2014 European School-
net launched a survey with its member Ministries of Education to get a more
consistent picture of how and where coding was already in national, region-
al or school curricula. The 2014 report has now been reviewed and updated
on the basis of data gathered during summer 2015. It contains information
from 21 European countries, 16 of which have already integrated coding in
the curriculum as well as links to initiatives, pilots and best practices per
country.
In parallel to the advocacy action, teachers have also been supported di-
rectly in teaching programming and coding through the provision of open
online courses via the European Schoolnet Academy and the collection and
curation of teaching materials, tools and lessons plans.
A year on, the funding members of the programme – Facebook, Liberty
Global, Microsoft, SAP, and Samsung, coordinated by European Schoolnet
– are intensifying their effort and commitment in support of the Initiative.
How is coding currently integrated into curricula, and how can we further
advocate for coding as a key skill for a thriving and ever-innovative digital
society and economy? These questions have set the scene for the devel-
opment of this new report and to the renewal of our commitment to the
promotion of coding teaching and learning.
6 7
Executive Summary
Many educators, as well as parents,
economists and politicians in Europe and
worldwide are starting to think that students
need some computing and coding skills.
One rationale is the shortage of ICT-skilled employees: By 2020, Europe
may experience a shortage of more than 800,000 professionals skilled in
computing/informatics. Another important rationale is that coding skills
help to understand today’s digitalised society and foster 21st century skills
like problem solving, creativity and logical thinking.
In October 2014, European Schoolnet published its first major report pro-
viding an overview of a wide range of coding initiatives across Europe, in
both formal and informal learning environments. In the last year, coding in
schools continued to be a worldwide trend and major European countries
like France and Spain have just introduced it in their curricula this year. This
report represents an updated overview of the formal integration of coding in
school curricula across Europe, illustrated with examples of curricula inte-
gration by country. The report also looks at training provisions for teachers
and highlights a broad spectrum of formal and informal coding initiatives
offered to students. The findings are based on a survey with 21 Ministries of
Education (from 20 European countries and Israel), which gave an overview
of their current initiatives and plans.
COMPUTER PROGRAMMING
Computer programming is the process of developing and im-
plementing various sets of instructions to enable a computer to
perform a certain task, solve problems, and provide human inter-
activity. These instructions (source codes which are written in a
programming language) are considered computer programs and
help the computer to operate smoothly.
In this report the terms computer programming and coding are
used interchangeably, and are in general referred to as coding.
They refer to activities that enable children not only to know how
to use specific programmes but to learn how to programme com-
puters, tablets, or other electronic devices.
Computational thinking is typically associated with coding and
computer programming, but is more than that, involving “solving
problems, designing systems, and understanding human behav-
iour”, according to the Carnegie Mellon University.
PARTICIPATING COUNTRIES
21 Ministries of Education, or organisations nominated to act on
their behalf, contributed to this overview of current initiatives and
plans: Austria (AT ), Belgium Flanders (BE (NL)), Belgium Wallon-
ia (BE (FR)), Bulgaria (BG), Czech Republic (CZ), Denmark (DK),
Estonia (EE), Finland (FI), France (FR), Hungary (HU), Ireland (IE),
Israel (IL), Lithuania (LT), Malta (MT), the Netherlands (NL), Nor-
way (NO), Poland (PL), Portugal (PT), Slovakia (SK), Spain (ES)
and the United Kingdom (UK (England)).
8 9
Key Data from the study
Coding skills in relation to other ICT skills?
Digital Competence is still a key priority
The survey sought to investigate the importance of coding in relation to
other ICT skills priorities, such as digital competence, ICT user skills or as a
skill to develop key competences and as a tool for learning.
Most of the countries have usually adopted several priorities, in the
range of 2 to 5, for developing ICT competences. Developing students’
digital competence was put forward as a priority by almost all countries
(19 countries). Using ICT as a tool for learning was one of the main prior-
ities for the majority of countries (16 countries).
Developing ICT user skills and using ICT for developing key competenc-
es also play a prominent role (13 countries/14 countries).
Coding is mentioned as a main priority only by ten countries. Whilst this
is relatively low, it illustrates the approach taken by countries: Integrating
coding in the curriculum is given greater importance and a higher priority
by some countries in addition to the other ICT skills priorities; it is not a
single and separate focus of the curriculum. Obviously, the teaching of
coding skills implies the development of digital literacy and the compe-
tent use of ICT.
Countries such as Belgium Flanders, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Malta
and Poland mention, in addition to the competences stated above, com-
putational thinking as a key competence to be acquired when integrating
coding in the curriculum.
Which countries do actually integrate formally
coding in the curriculum?
A higher prole for coding in the curriculum
16 countries integrate coding in the curriculum at national, regional or
local level: Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia,
France, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Lithuania, Malta, Spain, Poland, Portu-
gal, Slovakia and the UK (England).
Finland and Belgium Flanders have plans to integrate it in the curriculum.
Finland has defined coding in the core curricula for 2016.
Belgium Wallonia, the Netherlands and Norway have not integrated cod-
ing yet and currently have no plans to do so.
Progress in the integration of coding in the curriculum between 2014 and
2015 has been made especially by France and Spain*, which have now
integrated coding in the curriculum for the first time. Countries which
had already integrated coding in the curriculum to some extent for a
longer time, like the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Malta and Poland, have
now developed more concrete plans for further curriculum integration.
Why integrate coding in the curriculum?
Countries aim to enhance 21st century skills when inte-
grating coding
The majority of countries aim to develop students’ logical thinking skills
(15 countries) and problem-solving skills (14 countries), thus addressing
21st century skills. More than half of the countries, namely 11, focus on
the development of key competences and/or coding skills. Attracting
more students to studying computer sciences is also a rationale for 11
countries. The aim to foster employability in the sector is key for only
eight countries.
* In Spain, the implem entatio n of coding /programming measures and a ctions in Ed ucation
depends both on the N ational a nd the Regional Educational Administrations, thus not every
measure aects the whole country.
10 11
At which levels?
Coding is mainly integrated at secondary level, but also
increasingly in primary education
Coding is integrated or will be integrated by more than half of the coun-
tries (13) at upper secondary school level in general education. Eight of
these countries also integrate or plan to integrate it at upper secondary
level in vocational education.
More countries than in 2014, namely ten integrate (Estonia, France, Is-
rael, Spain, Slovakia, UK (England)) or will integrate (Belgium Flanders,
Finland, Poland, Portugal) coding at primary level.
Estonia, Israel and Slovakia integrate coding at all levels of school ed-
ucation.
In Poland, a new informatics (computing/computer science) curriculum
(to be adopted in 2016) will replace existing computer activities and in-
formatics subjects with learning rigorous computer science, including
programming at all school levels K-12.
Compulsory or optional?
In one third of the countries coding is already compulso-
ry, but at dierent levels of education
In seven countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Portugal, Slova-
kia, Spain, UK (England)) it is compulsory for specific levels of education
and mainly integrated as part of a computer course. In Denmark to know
about simple programming is a compulsory part of the Physics, Chem-
istry and Maths curriculum.
In the UK (England) and Slovakia coding is a compulsory subject in pri-
mary education.
Malta and Poland are planning to make coding compulsory for all stu-
dents, as “computational thinking is a fundamental skill for everyone, not
just computer scientists”.
In Slovakia, coding is integrated at all levels of school education as
a compulsory element. Hence, all students learn it during their entire
school education.
A separate subject, as part of the ICT course or
cross-curricular integration?
Coding as part of computer science and informatics is
already a separate subject in 12 of the countries
12 countries have already established a specific coding/computing sub-
ject in the curriculum, but also at regional or school level only.
Moreover, 13 countries integrate coding in a general ICT/technology
course, 7 of them depending on regional or school curricula.
Increasingly coding or computing is also integrated in other subjects,
mostly mathematics, in a cross-curricular approach, e.g. in Denmark,
Estonia, Finland, Slovakia, Spain and France. Finland will be the first
country to introduce coding in a purely cross-curricular approach.
Is coding assessed and how?
Assessment of coding skills is mostly part of students’
general assessment:
Most countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Hungary, Ireland, Is-
rael, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain) assess cod-
ing competences as part of the general assessment of students (during
ICT-related exams or project work). If it is integrated as a cross-curricu-
12 13
lar approach, coding is assessed as part of the subject skills (Portugal,
France or Finland in the future).
In the UK (England), students at key stage four (14-16) and beyond may
choose to pursue formal qualifications that will be assessed, for exam-
ple the new computer science GCSE.
What type of teacher training is provided?
There is a variety of support for teachers (formal and in-
formal) provided by universities and other stakeholders
13 of the countries which integrate coding in the curriculum already offer
in-service and/or pre-service training to support teachers in teaching
computer coding at various levels (Austria, Bulgaria, France, Estonia,
Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, UK
(England)). This training is offered mainly by universities, but also com-
panies and non-profit organisations.
In most countries, a variety of bottom-up initiatives exists to support
teachers and students, e.g. summer schools and programming courses,
competitions and coding clubs.
Working with key stakeholders is the common scenario
13 countries (Austria, Belgium Flanders, Bulgaria, France, Estonia, Isra-
el, Ireland, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, UK (England))
report on their collaboration with a variety of key stakeholders in the
field through mechanisms such as industry partnerships, sector organ-
isations, teacher and subject associations, computer society clubs, IT/
media literacy foundations, and through activities to raise awareness
(e.g. campaigns, competitions and media coverage). Finland plans to
collaborate with key stakeholders.
Evaluation of coding initiatives is still rare among countries
Only in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Israel, Malta and Spain,
evaluations of coding initiatives/pilots are already carried out, but results
of the evaluations are not yet widely shared, and small-scale.
In Malta, a strategy group gave recommendations on the further cur-
riculum integration in 2014, based on an evaluation by the group of the
current situation.
Interesting research projects are carried out in Spain where the region
of Navarra collaborates with university researchers to measure to what
extent students are prepared to learn coding at early ages and its impact
on the learning of other subjects.
Are countries piloting the integration of coding?
Only a few countries (Austria, Estonia, Finland, Israel, Poland and Portu-
gal) run school pilots in this area.
In the Netherlands, an initiative is organised where interested schools
will create their own coding curriculum; the results will be shared with
all schools.
Conclusions:
This is a report on a large amount of complex data which has to be set
against extremely varied national and regional education contexts. There
are nevertheless some “big picture” conclusions to be drawn.
Coding continues to play a prominent role in the education agenda. The
rationale for integrating coding in school curricula is twofold: to equip all
students with skills that are increasingly perceived as important in today’s
digital society, such as problem-solving and logical thinking skills, and, but
to a slightly lesser extent, to respond to the lack of IT-skilled labour force
in Europe.
14 15
In order to encourage more students to pursue IT careers, particularly inter-
ested or talented students need to be provided with opportunities to excel.
Competitions that are offered in several European countries are one way of
rewarding excellence in that area. Likewise, and in parallel to offers to in-
terested or gifted students, students with a general interest should also be
attracted by providing more general courses. Moreover, the goal should be
to make more students, especially girls, curious about coding, and to build
their confidence to pursue scientific careers. More needs to be known about
the decisive factors for young people to opt for scientific careers in this
area. The role of formal qualifications or certifications that can be obtained
during school, e.g. the offer of specific computer science school-leaving
exams, might play a role for students to continue with higher studies.
The focus of the report is on steps taken by countries to integrate coding
in formal school curricula, on ways of providing training to teachers and on
highlighting interesting initiatives in the area beyond formal education. How-
ever, as the integration of coding in school curricula will remain high on the
education agenda beyond the short term, other questions beyond formal
curricula requirements need to be addressed soon, including more concrete
insights into the actual integration and real uptake of coding in schools as
well as the educational practices related to it.
Important pedagogical questions to tackle are:
How to design effectively the learning processes and outcomes involv-
ing coding? Which concrete activities (and programming languages) are
most appropriate for different students, according to their age, interests
and capacities;
What are the particular merits (and limits) of adopting a cross-curricular
approach to teaching coding or a discrete computer science subject?
How to refine assessment, in particular where coding is integrated in a
cross-curricular approach in other subjects.
Some interesting developments are already taking place in this regard. For
instance, the concept of computational thinking has recently gained im-
portance when integrating coding into the curriculum. It describes a take
on computer science education that puts computer science techniques
in the forefront to enhance 21st century skills like problem-solving and
logical thinking skills that matter even beyond the digital world. This new
focus also suggests a conscious shift in some countries away from a
focus on students’ ICT user skills in traditional ICT subjects, towards an
approach as part of computer science subjects that focuses on teaching
underlying computer and design principles and puts students in a role
where they create their own programs. However, developing students’
digital competence more generally, ICT user skills and ICT as tool for
learning continue to be priorities for many countries. In this light, it will be
interesting to investigate whether the new approach taken for example by
Poland and the Czech Republic is also suited to fostering students’ digital
skills more widely. In other words: are students who better understand
how computers work also more competent users?
The picture as regards supporting teachers in teaching coding is diverse:
official training as part of initial or in-service training exists but to various ex-
tents and is often coupled with offers from industry – but is this sufficient?
In some countries, such as Israel, to teach computer science teachers must
have a degree in teaching computer science education. In most countries,
not all the primary teachers who now have to integrate computing in their
teaching have a computing background. There is not much evidence as to
how far teachers really manage to integrate coding effectively in their teach-
ing and the problems they face.
Based on the findings above, it will be important to support teachers in
the implementation of the new curriculum requirements and in providing
students with the best approaches to learning how to code, to consider
new assessment approaches and to develop more awareness activities on
the importance of coding in all schools in Europe, as well as promoting
and scaling up any other initiative aiming at supporting coding activities in
schools. The European Commission itself might review the support given
to this important area by considering and/or strengthening actions such as:
Promoting and scaling up initiatives from industry and NGOs and any
other stakeholder active in teaching coding and supporting coding ac-
tivities;
16 17
Supporting teachers and students in coding activities, as part of both
formal and informal education;
Offering a dialogue platform with policy makers in coding and develop-
ing a major awareness programme on coding;
Supporting the gathering of evidence in this area by monitoring and ana-
lysing research studies and evaluations in the field.
Finally, a European exchange should be encouraged between countries that
already integrate coding and those that still intend to do so. Discussions
should not only address the question why coding is a useful skill but also
provide answers to more specific questions like: which basic, possibly wider,
computational skills does every student need to be prepared for tomorrow’s
digital world? How do we make coding exciting for students, in particular
girls? How can gifted students be supported who might want to pursue a
career in computational sciences? How are synergies created between the
integration of coding in the curricula and extra-curricular, voluntary activi-
ties? What are the successful models of providing teacher training?
1. Introduction
2014 was a year of momentum for coding in
schools. England was one of the first countries
to mandate computer programming in its
primary and secondary education in state
maintained schools from September onwards.
The European Commission launched the
CodeWeek with events all around Europe.
The topic received a lot of media attention.
One year later, coding in schools continues to be an increasing world trend.
In February this year, US President Obama stated that everybody should
learn how to code early. This message is echoed by US-led initiatives such
as Code.org and the “Hour of Code”. In Australia, discussions took place on
the possibility of making coding a mandatory part of the national curriculum
this summer.
Coding in schools also continues to be a trend in Europe. France and Spain
have just introduced coding in the curricula this school year, other countries
like Finland are to follow. Poland has published a new computer science
curriculum with a stronger focus on rigorous computer science including
programming in July 2015 that will be formally included in the curriculum in
2016. One of the goals of the Polish curriculum is to motivate students to
go “beyond the screen” and investigate how computers work and how soft-
ware is designed so they can create their own solutions. Computer science
lessons should prepare students for further study instead of leaving them
satisfied with the knowledge and skills they have already learned.
The European Commission highlights coding as part of digital skills and one
of the competences to foster employability in its draft of a joint report by the
18 19
Commission and Member States published in September 2015*. Relevant
and high-skill quality skills and competences are one of the six new prior-
ities the report proposes in the field of training and education up to 2020.
Important considerations that define the actual learning to take place are:
Why teach coding? Should every student learn to code? Is the focus on
teaching concrete programming skills or on wider concepts such as com-
putational thinking? Approaches on how to introduce coding differ across
Europe, as the report reveals.
European Schoolnet re-launched the 2014 survey on coding with its Minis-
tries of Education in June 2015 to get an updated picture on the topic cov-
ering the developments in countries and to receive information from more
countries. The report focuses on the following main questions:
What is the Ministry of Education’s current thinking about this topic?
Which terms are used in the national, regional or local curricula? Which
are the current priorities in ICT competence development including pro-
gramming and coding?
Is computer programming or coding already part of the school curric-
ulum and how is it integrated? What activities are required and what
competences are developed? How are these assessed?
Are there any plans to integrate computer programming and coding in
school curricula in the future?
What current or planned training provision is there to support teachers
who teach computing and coding?
Are there any school pilots or computer coding initiatives and what are
the main actors involved?
Additionally, the 2015 report included the following new questions:
Does your country have a digital skills/competences strategy for education?
Are there evaluations of coding initiatives/pilots in your country?
Are there any examples of good practice of coding initiatives in your country?
* http://ec.europa.eu/education/documents/et-2020-draft-joint-report-408-2015_en.pdf
Primary
Lower secondary
(general)
Lower secondary
(vocational)
Upper secondary
(general)
Upper secondary
(vocational)
Depends on regional
or school curricula
1) Participation:
No plans to
integrate
Plans to integrate it
in the curriculum
Integrated
in the curriculum
AUSTRIA, BELGIUM FLANDERS, BELGIUM WALLONIA, BULGARIA, CZECH
REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FINLAND, FRANCE, HUNGARY, IRELAND,
ISRAEL, LITHUANIA, MALTA, THE NETHERLANDS, NORWAY, POLAND,
PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, THE UNITED KINGDOM (ENGLAND)
CROATIA, GERMANY, ICELAND, LATVIA, ROMANIA, SLOVENIA, SWEDEN,
SWITZERLAND, UK (SCOTLAND)
CYPRUS, GREECE, ITALY, LUXEMBOURG
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, THE CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FRANCE,
HUNGARY, IRELAND, LITHUANIA, MALTA, SPAIN, POLAND, PORTUGAL,
SLOVAKIA, THE UK (ENGLAND), ISRAEL
BELGIUM FLANDERS, FINLAND
BELGIUM WALLONIA, NETHERLANDS, NORWAY
ESTONIA, FRANCE, ISRAEL, SPAIN, SLOVAKIA, UK (ENGLAND), BELGIUM
FLANDERS, FINLAND, POLAND, PORTUGAL
AUSTRIA, BELGIUM (NL), DENMARK, ESTONIA, FINLAND, IRELAND, ISRAEL,
LITHUANIA, POLAND, PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, UK (ENGLAND)
BELGIUM (NL), ESTONIA, ISRAEL, SLOVAKIA
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FRANCE, HUNGARY, ISRAEL,
LITHUANIA, MALTA, POLAND, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, UK (ENGLAND)
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, HUNGARY,
ISRAEL, POLAND, PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA
AUSTRIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, ESTONIA, IRELAND, POLAND, SPAIN
21 countries
participated
in the survey
No information
Countries, which
only participated in
the 2014 report
Training offered by :
Universities Companies The Ministries
of Education
Non-profit
organizations
20 21
21 countries and regions gave an overview to the 2015 survey. These are
Austria (AT), Belgium Flanders (BE (NL)), Belgium Wallonia (BE (FR)), Bul-
garia (BG), Czech Republic (CZ), Denmark (DK), Estonia (EE), Finland (FI),
France (FR), Hungary (HU), Ireland (IE), Israel (IL), Lithuania (LT), Malta (MT),
the Netherlands (NL), Norway (NO), Poland (PL), Portugal (PT), Slovakia
(SK), Spain (ES) and the United Kingdom (England). *
Six new countries participated in the 2015 survey: Austria, Belgium Wallon-
ia, Hungary, Israel, Malta and Slovakia.
“Today, computer programs are the genetic code of our world
— and many educators (as well as parents, economists, and
politicians willing to entangle themselves in education matters) are
starting to think that students need more than a passing knowledge
of computer coding. They see it as both a powerful language stu-
dents can tap into that solves just about any kind of problem and an
elemental structure of modern society they simply need to under-
stand.
Peter Gow, 2015
* Updated information from Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg and Turkey, which par ticipated
in the 2014 survey, could not be obtained. Information on those countries can be found in the
report from 2014.
2. Terminology
Computer programming is the process of
developing and implementing various sets of
instructions to enable a computer to perform
a certain task, solve problems, and provide
human interactivity.
These instructions (source codes which are written in a programming lan-
guage) are considered computer programs and help the computer to oper-
ate smoothly.
In order to write a program to instruct a computer, tablet, smart phone or
any other electronic device which can be programmed, each problem needs
to be clearly thought through and broken down into something called meth-
ods (occasionally referred to as functions). A typical computer program will
be constructed of lots of these methods, and each will contain commands
and statements to perform the operations required.
The process of programming often requires expertise in many different
subjects, including knowledge of the application domain, specialised algo-
rithms and formal logic.
It involves activities such as:
analysis, understanding, and generically solving such problems, result-
ing in an algorithm
verification of requirements of the algorithm including its correctness
implementation (commonly referred to as coding) of the algorithm in a
target programming language.
22 23
In this report the terms computer programming and coding are
used interchangeably and refer to activities that enable children
not only to know how to use specific programmes but to learn how
to programme computers, tablets, or other electronic devices.
Coding on a technical level is a type of computer programming that closely
or exactly represents what happens at the lowest (machine) level. However,
when most people talk about coding, they usually mean something at a
higher, more human-readable level which could be anything in problem-ori-
ented languages like Java, C++ or PHP.
Often computer programming (when referring to software) and coding are
used interchangeably and refer to more or less the same activities of writing
the instructions (recipe) for the computer to perform a specific task following
a logic. However, based on the definitions above, coding can also be seen
as a specific subtask of software computer programming which arranges
the implementation of the algorithm in the target programming language.
Computational thinking is typically associated with coding and computer
programming, but it is also more than that, involving “solving problems, de-
signing systems, and understanding human behaviour,” according to Carn-
egie Mellon University*. Computational thinking developed as part of stud-
ying computer science can serve as a methodology for all students across
disciplines for solving problems and improve understanding of the role of
computing in modern society (Syslo & Kwiatkowska, 2015).
* http://www.digitalpromise.org/blog/entry/a-new-model-for-coding-in-schools
3. Integrating coding skills
in the curriculum
3.1. Current situation and rationale
Among the 21 countries participating in the survey, coding is already part of
the curriculum (at national, regional or local level) in 16 of them: Austria, Bul-
garia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Hungary, Ireland, Israel,
Lithuania, Malta, Spain, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and the UK (England).
Finland and Belgium Flanders have plans to integrate it in the curriculum.
Finland has defined coding in the core curricula for 2016. In Belgium Flan-
ders, a political and societal debate will take place in autumn 2015 about the
curriculum reform in general. The issue of digital competences and coding
will be addressed during this debate and outcomes of the political discus-
sions will inform the reform. Coding will also be integrated in adult educa-
tion. In September 2016, a course ‘ICT programming’ will be introduced.
Progress in the integration of coding in the curriculum between 2014 and
2015 has been made especially by France, Spain, and Poland; the latter is
currently establishing a new computer science curriculum curriculum for all
school levels.
In France, the new curricula for school (primary and lower secondary ed-
ucation) will be published in September/October 2015 and implemented in
September 2016.
In Spain, coding has been introduced in the curriculum from this school year
for the whole country as an optional subject in upper secondary education.
Moreover it is now integrated in three Autonomous Communities: in Navarra
in primary education and in Madrid and Cataluña in lower secondary edu-
cation.
Primary
Lower secondary
(general)
Lower secondary
(vocational)
Upper secondary
(general)
Upper secondary
(vocational)
Depends on regional
or school curricula
1) Participation:
No plans to
integrate
Plans to integrate it
in the curriculum
Integrated
in the curriculum
AUSTRIA, BELGIUM FLANDERS, BELGIUM WALLONIA, BULGARIA, CZECH
REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FINLAND, FRANCE, HUNGARY, IRELAND,
ISRAEL, LITHUANIA, MALTA, THE NETHERLANDS, NORWAY, POLAND,
PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, THE UNITED KINGDOM (ENGLAND)
CROATIA, GERMANY, ICELAND, LATVIA, ROMANIA, SLOVENIA, SWEDEN,
SWITZERLAND, UK (SCOTLAND)
CYPRUS, GREECE, ITALY, LUXEMBOURG
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, THE CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FRANCE,
HUNGARY, IRELAND, LITHUANIA, MALTA, SPAIN, POLAND, PORTUGAL,
SLOVAKIA, THE UK (ENGLAND), ISRAEL
BELGIUM FLANDERS, FINLAND
BELGIUM WALLONIA, NETHERLANDS, NORWAY
ESTONIA, FRANCE, ISRAEL, SPAIN, SLOVAKIA, UK (ENGLAND), BELGIUM
FLANDERS, FINLAND, POLAND, PORTUGAL
AUSTRIA, BELGIUM (NL), DENMARK, ESTONIA, FINLAND, IRELAND, ISRAEL,
LITHUANIA, POLAND, PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, UK (ENGLAND)
BELGIUM (NL), ESTONIA, ISRAEL, SLOVAKIA
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FRANCE, HUNGARY, ISRAEL,
LITHUANIA, MALTA, POLAND, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, UK (ENGLAND)
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, HUNGARY,
ISRAEL, POLAND, PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA
AUSTRIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, ESTONIA, IRELAND, POLAND, SPAIN
21 countries
participated
in the survey
No information
Countries, which
only participated in
the 2014 report
Training offered by :
Universities Companies The Ministries
of Education
Non-profit
organizations
24
Belgium Wallonia, the Netherlands and Norway stated that coding is cur-
rently not integrated in the curriculum. Norway recently decided to pilot pro-
gramming as an optional subject in lower secondary schools in the school
year 2016/2017. The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training will
be given the task of creating a temporary curriculum for the subject. Many
schools have already started teaching programming to students as part of
the optional subject “Technology in Practice” (lower secondary school), or
as part of mathematics and natural science.
The Netherlands does not integrate coding in its curricula. There is a com-
puter science subject in secondary education, but it is not a mandatory
subject and schools can choose whether to teach this subject. Even if some
schools choose to teach it, students have the choice to take on this subject
or not. While there are no immediate plans to integrate coding as a manda-
tory subject, this question is still up for debate. The national institute for cur-
riculum development (SLO) is working on developing goals and a possible
curriculum on digital competences, including programming/computational
thinking. In Belgium Flanders, the subject is under debate as part of a wide
discussion around a curriculum review.
The survey investigated the underlying rationale for integrating ICT in the
curriculum. The following table indicates the rationale adopted both by
countries which have already integrated coding in the curriculum and those
which still plan to do so (in green).
Table: rationale for integrating coding in the curriculum /
(countries which still plan to integrate coding are highlighted)
FOSTERING
LO GI CA L
THINKING
FOSTERING
PROBLEM
SOLVING
ATTRACTING
STUDENTS INTO
ICT
FOSTERING
CODING SKILLS
FOSTERING ICT
EM PL OYAB IL IT Y
FOSTERING
OT HE R K EY
COMPETENCES
AUSTRIA
BELGIUM (NL)
BULGARIA
CZ ECH
REPUBLIC
DENMARK
ESTONIA
FINLAND
FRANCE
Primary
Lower secondary
(general)
Lower secondary
(vocational)
Upper secondary
(general)
Upper secondary
(vocational)
Depends on regional
or school curricula
1) Participation:
No plans to
integrate
Plans to integrate it
in the curriculum
Integrated
in the curriculum
AUSTRIA, BELGIUM FLANDERS, BELGIUM WALLONIA, BULGARIA, CZECH
REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FINLAND, FRANCE, HUNGARY, IRELAND,
ISRAEL, LITHUANIA, MALTA, THE NETHERLANDS, NORWAY, POLAND,
PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, THE UNITED KINGDOM (ENGLAND)
CROATIA, GERMANY, ICELAND, LATVIA, ROMANIA, SLOVENIA, SWEDEN,
SWITZERLAND, UK (SCOTLAND)
CYPRUS, GREECE, ITALY, LUXEMBOURG
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, THE CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FRANCE,
HUNGARY, IRELAND, LITHUANIA, MALTA, SPAIN, POLAND, PORTUGAL,
SLOVAKIA, THE UK (ENGLAND), ISRAEL
BELGIUM FLANDERS, FINLAND
BELGIUM WALLONIA, NETHERLANDS, NORWAY
ESTONIA, FRANCE, ISRAEL, SPAIN, SLOVAKIA, UK (ENGLAND), BELGIUM
FLANDERS, FINLAND, POLAND, PORTUGAL
AUSTRIA, BELGIUM (NL), DENMARK, ESTONIA, FINLAND, IRELAND, ISRAEL,
LITHUANIA, POLAND, PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, UK (ENGLAND)
BELGIUM (NL), ESTONIA, ISRAEL, SLOVAKIA
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FRANCE, HUNGARY, ISRAEL,
LITHUANIA, MALTA, POLAND, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, UK (ENGLAND)
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, HUNGARY,
ISRAEL, POLAND, PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA
AUSTRIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, ESTONIA, IRELAND, POLAND, SPAIN
21 countries
participated
in the survey
No information
Countries, which
only participated in
the 2014 report
Training offered by :
Universities Companies The Ministries
of Education
Non-profit
organizations
Primary
Lower secondary
(general)
Lower secondary
(vocational)
Upper secondary
(general)
Upper secondary
(vocational)
Depends on regional
or school curricula
1) Participation:
No plans to
integrate
Plans to integrate it
in the curriculum
Integrated
in the curriculum
AUSTRIA, BELGIUM FLANDERS, BELGIUM WALLONIA, BULGARIA, CZECH
REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FINLAND, FRANCE, HUNGARY, IRELAND,
ISRAEL, LITHUANIA, MALTA, THE NETHERLANDS, NORWAY, POLAND,
PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, THE UNITED KINGDOM (ENGLAND)
CROATIA, GERMANY, ICELAND, LATVIA, ROMANIA, SLOVENIA, SWEDEN,
SWITZERLAND, UK (SCOTLAND)
CYPRUS, GREECE, ITALY, LUXEMBOURG
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, THE CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FRANCE,
HUNGARY, IRELAND, LITHUANIA, MALTA, SPAIN, POLAND, PORTUGAL,
SLOVAKIA, THE UK (ENGLAND), ISRAEL
BELGIUM FLANDERS, FINLAND
BELGIUM WALLONIA, NETHERLANDS, NORWAY
ESTONIA, FRANCE, ISRAEL, SPAIN, SLOVAKIA, UK (ENGLAND), BELGIUM
FLANDERS, FINLAND, POLAND, PORTUGAL
AUSTRIA, BELGIUM (NL), DENMARK, ESTONIA, FINLAND, IRELAND, ISRAEL,
LITHUANIA, POLAND, PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, UK (ENGLAND)
BELGIUM (NL), ESTONIA, ISRAEL, SLOVAKIA
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FRANCE, HUNGARY, ISRAEL,
LITHUANIA, MALTA, POLAND, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, UK (ENGLAND)
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, HUNGARY,
ISRAEL, POLAND, PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA
AUSTRIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, ESTONIA, IRELAND, POLAND, SPAIN
21 countries
participated
in the survey
No information
Countries, which
only participated in
the 2014 report
Training offered by :
Universities Companies The Ministries
of Education
Non-profit
organizations
Primary
Lower secondary
(general)
Lower secondary
(vocational)
Upper secondary
(general)
Upper secondary
(vocational)
Depends on regional
or school curricula
1) Participation:
No plans to
integrate
Plans to integrate it
in the curriculum
Integrated
in the curriculum
AUSTRIA, BELGIUM FLANDERS, BELGIUM WALLONIA, BULGARIA, CZECH
REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FINLAND, FRANCE, HUNGARY, IRELAND,
ISRAEL, LITHUANIA, MALTA, THE NETHERLANDS, NORWAY, POLAND,
PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, THE UNITED KINGDOM (ENGLAND)
CROATIA, GERMANY, ICELAND, LATVIA, ROMANIA, SLOVENIA, SWEDEN,
SWITZERLAND, UK (SCOTLAND)
CYPRUS, GREECE, ITALY, LUXEMBOURG
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, THE CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FRANCE,
HUNGARY, IRELAND, LITHUANIA, MALTA, SPAIN, POLAND, PORTUGAL,
SLOVAKIA, THE UK (ENGLAND), ISRAEL
BELGIUM FLANDERS, FINLAND
BELGIUM WALLONIA, NETHERLANDS, NORWAY
ESTONIA, FRANCE, ISRAEL, SPAIN, SLOVAKIA, UK (ENGLAND), BELGIUM
FLANDERS, FINLAND, POLAND, PORTUGAL
AUSTRIA, BELGIUM (NL), DENMARK, ESTONIA, FINLAND, IRELAND, ISRAEL,
LITHUANIA, POLAND, PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, UK (ENGLAND)
BELGIUM (NL), ESTONIA, ISRAEL, SLOVAKIA
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FRANCE, HUNGARY, ISRAEL,
LITHUANIA, MALTA, POLAND, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, UK (ENGLAND)
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, HUNGARY,
ISRAEL, POLAND, PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA
AUSTRIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, ESTONIA, IRELAND, POLAND, SPAIN
21 countries
participated
in the survey
No information
Countries, which
only participated in
the 2014 report
Training offered by :
Universities Companies The Ministries
of Education
Non-profit
organizations
Primary
Lower secondary
(general)
Lower secondary
(vocational)
Upper secondary
(general)
Upper secondary
(vocational)
Depends on regional
or school curricula
1) Participation:
No plans to
integrate
Plans to integrate it
in the curriculum
Integrated
in the curriculum
AUSTRIA, BELGIUM FLANDERS, BELGIUM WALLONIA, BULGARIA, CZECH
REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FINLAND, FRANCE, HUNGARY, IRELAND,
ISRAEL, LITHUANIA, MALTA, THE NETHERLANDS, NORWAY, POLAND,
PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, THE UNITED KINGDOM (ENGLAND)
CROATIA, GERMANY, ICELAND, LATVIA, ROMANIA, SLOVENIA, SWEDEN,
SWITZERLAND, UK (SCOTLAND)
CYPRUS, GREECE, ITALY, LUXEMBOURG
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, THE CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FRANCE,
HUNGARY, IRELAND, LITHUANIA, MALTA, SPAIN, POLAND, PORTUGAL,
SLOVAKIA, THE UK (ENGLAND), ISRAEL
BELGIUM FLANDERS, FINLAND
BELGIUM WALLONIA, NETHERLANDS, NORWAY
ESTONIA, FRANCE, ISRAEL, SPAIN, SLOVAKIA, UK (ENGLAND), BELGIUM
FLANDERS, FINLAND, POLAND, PORTUGAL
AUSTRIA, BELGIUM (NL), DENMARK, ESTONIA, FINLAND, IRELAND, ISRAEL,
LITHUANIA, POLAND, PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, UK (ENGLAND)
BELGIUM (NL), ESTONIA, ISRAEL, SLOVAKIA
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FRANCE, HUNGARY, ISRAEL,
LITHUANIA, MALTA, POLAND, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, UK (ENGLAND)
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, HUNGARY,
ISRAEL, POLAND, PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA
AUSTRIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, ESTONIA, IRELAND, POLAND, SPAIN
21 countries
participated
in the survey
No information
Countries, which
only participated in
the 2014 report
Training offered by :
Universities Companies The Ministries
of Education
Non-profit
organizations
Primary
Lower secondary
(general)
Lower secondary
(vocational)
Upper secondary
(general)
Upper secondary
(vocational)
Depends on regional
or school curricula
1) Participation:
No plans to
integrate
Plans to integrate it
in the curriculum
Integrated
in the curriculum
AUSTRIA, BELGIUM FLANDERS, BELGIUM WALLONIA, BULGARIA, CZECH
REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FINLAND, FRANCE, HUNGARY, IRELAND,
ISRAEL, LITHUANIA, MALTA, THE NETHERLANDS, NORWAY, POLAND,
PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, THE UNITED KINGDOM (ENGLAND)
CROATIA, GERMANY, ICELAND, LATVIA, ROMANIA, SLOVENIA, SWEDEN,
SWITZERLAND, UK (SCOTLAND)
CYPRUS, GREECE, ITALY, LUXEMBOURG
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, THE CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FRANCE,
HUNGARY, IRELAND, LITHUANIA, MALTA, SPAIN, POLAND, PORTUGAL,
SLOVAKIA, THE UK (ENGLAND), ISRAEL
BELGIUM FLANDERS, FINLAND
BELGIUM WALLONIA, NETHERLANDS, NORWAY
ESTONIA, FRANCE, ISRAEL, SPAIN, SLOVAKIA, UK (ENGLAND), BELGIUM
FLANDERS, FINLAND, POLAND, PORTUGAL
AUSTRIA, BELGIUM (NL), DENMARK, ESTONIA, FINLAND, IRELAND, ISRAEL,
LITHUANIA, POLAND, PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, UK (ENGLAND)
BELGIUM (NL), ESTONIA, ISRAEL, SLOVAKIA
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FRANCE, HUNGARY, ISRAEL,
LITHUANIA, MALTA, POLAND, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, UK (ENGLAND)
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, HUNGARY,
ISRAEL, POLAND, PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA
AUSTRIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, ESTONIA, IRELAND, POLAND, SPAIN
21 countries
participated
in the survey
No information
Countries, which
only participated in
the 2014 report
Training offered by :
Universities Companies The Ministries
of Education
Non-profit
organizations
Primary
Lower secondary
(general)
Lower secondary
(vocational)
Upper secondary
(general)
Upper secondary
(vocational)
Depends on regional
or school curricula
1) Participation:
No plans to
integrate
Plans to integrate it
in the curriculum
Integrated
in the curriculum
AUSTRIA, BELGIUM FLANDERS, BELGIUM WALLONIA, BULGARIA, CZECH
REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FINLAND, FRANCE, HUNGARY, IRELAND,
ISRAEL, LITHUANIA, MALTA, THE NETHERLANDS, NORWAY, POLAND,
PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, THE UNITED KINGDOM (ENGLAND)
CROATIA, GERMANY, ICELAND, LATVIA, ROMANIA, SLOVENIA, SWEDEN,
SWITZERLAND, UK (SCOTLAND)
CYPRUS, GREECE, ITALY, LUXEMBOURG
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, THE CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FRANCE,
HUNGARY, IRELAND, LITHUANIA, MALTA, SPAIN, POLAND, PORTUGAL,
SLOVAKIA, THE UK (ENGLAND), ISRAEL
BELGIUM FLANDERS, FINLAND
BELGIUM WALLONIA, NETHERLANDS, NORWAY
ESTONIA, FRANCE, ISRAEL, SPAIN, SLOVAKIA, UK (ENGLAND), BELGIUM
FLANDERS, FINLAND, POLAND, PORTUGAL
AUSTRIA, BELGIUM (NL), DENMARK, ESTONIA, FINLAND, IRELAND, ISRAEL,
LITHUANIA, POLAND, PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, UK (ENGLAND)
BELGIUM (NL), ESTONIA, ISRAEL, SLOVAKIA
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FRANCE, HUNGARY, ISRAEL,
LITHUANIA, MALTA, POLAND, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, UK (ENGLAND)
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, HUNGARY,
ISRAEL, POLAND, PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA
AUSTRIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, ESTONIA, IRELAND, POLAND, SPAIN
21 countries
participated
in the survey
No information
Countries, which
only participated in
the 2014 report
Training offered by :
Universities Companies The Ministries
of Education
Non-profit
organizations
Primary
Lower secondary
(general)
Lower secondary
(vocational)
Upper secondary
(general)
Upper secondary
(vocational)
Depends on regional
or school curricula
1) Participation:
No plans to
integrate
Plans to integrate it
in the curriculum
Integrated
in the curriculum
AUSTRIA, BELGIUM FLANDERS, BELGIUM WALLONIA, BULGARIA, CZECH
REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FINLAND, FRANCE, HUNGARY, IRELAND,
ISRAEL, LITHUANIA, MALTA, THE NETHERLANDS, NORWAY, POLAND,
PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, THE UNITED KINGDOM (ENGLAND)
CROATIA, GERMANY, ICELAND, LATVIA, ROMANIA, SLOVENIA, SWEDEN,
SWITZERLAND, UK (SCOTLAND)
CYPRUS, GREECE, ITALY, LUXEMBOURG
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, THE CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FRANCE,
HUNGARY, IRELAND, LITHUANIA, MALTA, SPAIN, POLAND, PORTUGAL,
SLOVAKIA, THE UK (ENGLAND), ISRAEL
BELGIUM FLANDERS, FINLAND
BELGIUM WALLONIA, NETHERLANDS, NORWAY
ESTONIA, FRANCE, ISRAEL, SPAIN, SLOVAKIA, UK (ENGLAND), BELGIUM
FLANDERS, FINLAND, POLAND, PORTUGAL
AUSTRIA, BELGIUM (NL), DENMARK, ESTONIA, FINLAND, IRELAND, ISRAEL,
LITHUANIA, POLAND, PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, UK (ENGLAND)
BELGIUM (NL), ESTONIA, ISRAEL, SLOVAKIA
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FRANCE, HUNGARY, ISRAEL,
LITHUANIA, MALTA, POLAND, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, UK (ENGLAND)
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, HUNGARY,
ISRAEL, POLAND, PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA
AUSTRIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, ESTONIA, IRELAND, POLAND, SPAIN
21 countries
participated
in the survey
No information
Countries, which
only participated in
the 2014 report
Training offered by :
Universities Companies The Ministries
of Education
Non-profit
organizations
26 27
FOSTERING
LO GI CA L
THINKING
FOSTERING
PROBLEM
SOLVING
ATTRACTING
STUDENTS INTO
ICT
FOSTERING
CODING SKILLS
FOSTERING ICT
EM PL OYAB IL IT Y
FOSTERING
OT HE R K EY
COMPETENCES
IRELAND
ISRAEL
HUNGARY
LITHUANIA
MA LTA
POLAND
PORTUGAL
SPAIN
SLOVAKIA
UK (ENGLAND)
Countries generally have multiple reasons for integrating coding in the cur-
riculum. The majority of countries aim to develop students’ logical thinking
skills (15 countries) and problem-solving skills (14 countries), thus address-
ing 21st century skills. More than half of the countries, namely 11, focus on
the development of key competences and coding skills. Attracting more
students to study computer sciences is also a rationale for 11 countries. In
particular, Slovakia is introducing the optional subject “programming and
coding” in schools because of students’ interest in studying computer pro-
gramming at university level. The aim of fostering employability in the sector
is key for only eight countries.
4. Skill priorities
4.1 Terms used for coding
There are a variety of terms used by countries to describe the integration of
coding in the curriculum, such as “coding”, “programming”, “computing”,
and “computational thinking”. More precisely, countries currently use the
following terms when talking about the integration of coding skills in the
curriculum:
Programming (BE (FL), DK, EE, ES, FI, HU, NL, NO, PL, PT, SK) and com-
puting (UK (England)) are the most common terms used by countries.
Coding and computer programming are used interchangeably in Poland,
England, Norway and NL.
Some countries additionally use the terms algorithmic applications (IL),
algorithmic problem solving (SK) or algorithm design and data models
(HU), or algorithmic and robotics (ES).
Ireland and France exclusively refer to coding.
Computational thinking is referred to by Belgium Flanders, the Czech
Republic, Ireland, Malta, Netherlands, and Poland.
In exploring in more detail what countries exactly mean by these terms, it
appears that there are different descriptions of what is understood or cov-
ered by each of them. Some examples of what is meant exactly by the terms
used in different countries is outlined in the following.
Belgium (Flanders) uses computational thinking and programming in the
same sense “to be able to define a set of instructions to reach a given goal
from a given starting point; to be able to write a concrete set of instructions
for a computer to let the computer execute a certain task.”
28 29
Poland is in the process of introducing computer science and programming
to all students in K 12 and only programming not coding is in the curriculum.
Programming is an integral part of computer science education, which ap-
plies algorithmic problem solving, i.e. the systematic development of a com-
puter solution for a problem, which covers the entire process of designing
and implementing the solution. On the other hand computational thinking is
considered as a collection of mental tools, which is larger than program-
ming methods and tools. The new computer science curriculum also high-
lights the difference between Information and communication technology
which is mainly about the use of computer-related products and comput-
er science which deals with creating “new products” related to computers
(such as hardware, computer tools, programs and software, algorithms,
concepts, theories). The creation of tools (e.g. programs) and information
requires thinking processes about how to use abstraction and manipulate
data and many other computer science and computing concepts, ideas and
mental tools of computational thinking (Syslo & Kwiatkowska, 2015).*
The curriculum in the UK for computing in primary education likewise de-
fines the core of computing as part of computer science, in which students
are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital sys-
tems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming.
Building on this knowledge and understanding, students are equipped to
use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of
content. Computing also ensures that students become digitally literate –
able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, in-
formation and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future
workplace and as active participants in a digital world (Berry, M. (2013)).
* See also: http://www.digitalpromise.org/blog/entry/a-new-model-for-coding-in-schools
IC T
(USING T ECHNOLOGY
AND APPLICATION OF
COMPUTERS AND ICT
TOOLS)
COMPUTER SCIENCE/INFORMATICS/
COMPUTING
(CREATION OF PROGRAMMES, COMPUTERS,
THEORIES, PRINCIPLES
AND DESI GN)
COMPUTER
PROGRAMMING CODING COMPUTATIONAL
THINKING
ALGORITHMIC THINKING
SOLVING
PROBLEMS,
DESIGNING
SYSTEMS, AND
UNDERSTANDING
HUMAN
BEHAVIOUR
The following picture illustrates the distinction between ICT and technology
on the one hand, with a focus on the USE of ICT and its applications, and
computer science, on the other hand, with a focus on the CREATION of
programs and computer solutions, and acquiring understanding about un-
derlying theories and principles.
30 31
labour market. Ever more professions across a range of disciplines require
a grasp of computing, which is also used in dealing with everyday situations
and problems. The focus is shifting from getting to know and using specific
forms of technology to the basic principles of computing as a field, which
encapsulates aspects of science, technology and mathematics. The devel-
opment of computational thinking enables students to master skills involved
in resolving a wide range of problems which arise from the very nature of
effective, i.e. usually automated, information processing. Computing should
therefore become a fully-fledged subject in its own right, with deeper links
to other subjects.
The main concepts and approaches of computational thinking, underlining
that this competence includes a wider set of mental tools, is also illustrated
in the following diagram (www.barefootcas.org.uk*):
* Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0
Barefoot would like to acknowledge the work of Julia Briggs and the eLIM team at Somerset
County Council for their contribution to this poster
DEVELOPING COMPUTATIONAL THINKING:
THE CZECH DIGITAL EDUCATION STRATEGY
The Czech Digital Education Strategy does not refer to comput-
er programming in particular, but defines the support of compu-
tational thinking on a more general level, since the phenomenon
“computational thinking” has become more and more important in
recent years. In the Strategy document, the term “Computational
thinking” is described as a relatively new concept which reflects
the need to understand the world around us from a new perspec-
tive, e.g. information and the ways in which digital technologies
work. More specifically, Computational thinking:
1. is a form of thinking that uses computational methods to solve
problems, including complex or vaguely specified problems;
2. develops the ability to analyse and synthesise, to generalise,
to seek suitable problem-solving strategies and to verify them
in practice;
3. enhances the ability to express one’s thoughts and processes
precisely and to record them in formal descriptions that serve
as a universal means of communication;
4. uses basic universal terms that extend beyond contemporary
technology: algorithm, structures, representation of informa-
tion, effectiveness, modelling, information systems, principles
of operation of digital technology.
THE COMPUTATIONAL THIN KER : CONCEPT & APPR OACHES
LOGIC
Predicting & analysing
THINKERING
Experimenting & playing
DECOMPOSITION
Break ing dow n into par ts
CR EAT IN G
Designing & making
ALGORIT HMS
Making steps & rules
PATT ER N S
Spotting & using similarities
DEBUGGING
finding & fixing errors
PERSEVERING
keeping going
COLLABORATING
Working together
ABSTRACTION
Removing unnecessary
detail
EVA LU ATI ON
Making judgement
C
O
N
C
E
P
T
S
A
P
P
R
O
A
C
H
E
S
The inclusion of computing and the development of computational thinking
in the curriculum will help to structure and formulate more advanced and
more useful educational objectives. The aim of this step is not merely to
nurture more IT professionals, of whom there is a constant shortage on the www.barefootcas.org.uk
© Crown Copyright 2014 (OGL)*
32 33
4.2 ICT skill priorities
Another important aspect before looking at curriculum integration in great-
er detail is to examine the importance attached to computer/programming
skills in relation to the ICT skill priorities set by Ministries of Education in re-
cent years (e.g. the development of digital competence or integrating ICT as
a tool for learning). The table below shows how different countries express
their ICT skill priorities:
Table: ICT skill priorities (countries which still plan to
integrate coding are highlighted)
DI GI TAL
COMPETENCE
ICT AS A TOOL
FOR LEARNING
ICT USER
SKILLS
IC T TO
DEVELOP KEY
COMPETENCES
COMPUT ING AND
CODING SKILLS
AUSTRIA
BELGIUM (NL)
BELGIUM (FR)
BULGARIA
CZ ECH
REPUBLIC
DENMARK
ESTONIA
FINLAND
FRANCE
IRELAND
ISRAEL
HUNGARY
LITHUANIA
MA LTA
NO RWAY
NETHERLANDS
POLAND
PORTUGAL
SPAIN
SLOVAKIA
UK (ENGLAND)
34 35
As already stated in the 2014 report, most of the countries have usually adopt-
ed several priorities, in the range of 2 to 5, for developing ICT competences.
Developing students’ digital competence was put forward as a priority by al-
most all countries (19 countries)*. Using ICT as a tool for learning was one of
the main priorities for the majority (16 countries). Developing ICT user skills and
using ICT for developing key competences is also prominent (13/ 14 countries).
Computing and coding is one of the main priority for ten countries. In addition
to the priorities indicated by Estonia and Spain, a further priority in these two
countries is to develop frameworks and self-assessment tools for teachers’
digital competence. Estonia also prioritises the integration of ICT into school
curricula and supports the implementation of “Bring Your Own Device”.
The Netherlands does not have a clear main priority. The Onderwijs 2032
platform will come with advice for possible developments on the curriculum.
Digital skills/competences will very likely be a part of that. For the Czech Re-
public, the future priorities set up in the national Digital strategy are presented
in this table. Currently, the focus is still primarily on ICT user skills. The Digital
Education Strategy of the Czech Republic formulates three priority objectives:
open up education to new methods and forms of teaching using digital
technologies,
improve students’ competence in working with information and digital
technologies,
develop students’ computational thinking.
Malta exclusively focuses on the development of ICT user skills. 11 coun-
tries (Belgium (Wallonia), the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France,
Estonia, Ireland, Israel, Lithuania, Poland, Spain) address almost all or all
the priorities mentioned.
In identifying current priorities with ICT competence development, countries
were also asked if they have digital skills/competence strategies for education.
15 countries have such strategies in place: AT, BE (NL), BE (FR), CZ, DK, ES, FR,
IL, LT, MT, NL, NO, PL, PT, UK (England). Links to the respective documents by
country can be found in Annex X II: Digital Competence Plans.
* Digital Competence can be broadly dened as the condent, critical and creative use of ICT
to achieve goals related to work, employability, learning, leisure, inclusion and/or participation in
society. Digital Competence is a transversal key competence which enables acquiring other key
competences (e.g. language, mathematics, learning to learn, cultural awareness (Ferrari, A. (2013)).
5. Level of curriculum
integration (current
and future)
36 37
5.1 Level of integration
Table: level of integration (countries which still plan to
integrate coding are highlighted)
NATIONAL REGIONAL SCHOOL
LEVEL
STARTING
YEAR
AUSTRIA
BELGIUM (NL)
BULGARIA
CZ ECH
REPUBLIC
DENMARK 2014
ESTONIA
FINLAND 2016
FRANCE 2016
HUNGARY 1995
IRELAND 2014
ISRAEL 1976
LITHUANIA 1986
MA LTA 1997
POLAND 198 5
PORTUGAL 2012
SLOVAKIA 1990
SPAIN 2015
UK (ENGLAND) 2014
Fifteen of the 16 countries which already integrate coding in the curriculum
have done this at national level (in Ireland, Estonia, Lithuania and Slovakia ad-
ditionally at local level). In the Czech Republic, currently this may be provided
at school level (depending on the schools), but integration at national level is
planned.
Spain integrates programming at national and regional level . (This reflects the
broader situation regarding responsibilities for ICT integration in the curricu-
lum).
Countries having plans for integration in the future, such as Finland, plans to
integrate it at all three levels. Belgium (Flanders) may do this at local level, which
is the level where curriculum responsibility lies.
As regards when coding was first integrated in the curriculum, Israel is out-
standing with a first subject on this in 1976. The Eastern European (and former
communist) countries such as Lithuania and Poland have already dealt with
this as part of the informatics or computer science subjects in the mid- 80s,
followed by Slovakia and Hungary in the beginning of the 90s.
Denmark, Ireland and the UK have had a long history in the integration of ICT in
schools, and shifted the focus to coding and computer science in 2014. Portu-
gal had already done so in 2012.
More detailed information on the first year of integration can be found in Annex
III Curriculum Integration.
38 39
COUNTRY-SPECIFIC NOTES
In the Czech Republic, curricular documents are developed at two
levels – state and school. In the system of curricular documents,
the state level is represented by the National Education Programme
(NEP, still in preparation) and Framework Education Programmes
(FEPs). Whereas the NEP formulates the requirements for edu-
cation which are applicable in initial education as a whole, the
FEPs define the binding scope of education for its individual stag-
es (preschool, elementary and secondary education). The school
level is represented by School Education Programmes (SEPs), on
the basis of which education is implemented in individual schools.
Coding may be integrated in school curricula at the school level.
Computer programming as a separate educational area is not cur-
rently part of the FEP primary education of the Czech Republic.
The FEP for Secondary Education already includes the basics of
computing as a field and the educational area is called Computing
and Information and Communication Technologies.
5.2 Integration by level of education
The next table looks at the education levels for which coding is currently offered
or compulsory (countries which still plan to integrate coding are highlighted in
blue / compulsory is highlighted in red).
PRIMARY
LOWE R
SE CO ND AR Y
(GENERAL)
LOWE R
SE CO ND AR Y
(VOCATIONAL)
UPPER
SE CO ND AR Y
(GENERAL)
UPPER
SE CO ND AR Y
(VOCATIONAL)
DEPENDS ON
REGIONAL
OR SCHOOL
CURRICULA
AUSTRIA
BELGIUM (NL)
BULGARIA
CZ ECH
REPUBLIC
DENMARK
ESTONIA
FINLAND
FRANCE
HUNGARY
IRELAND
ISRAEL
LITHUANIA
MA LTA
POLAND
PORTUGAL
SLOVAKIA
SPAIN
UK (ENGLAND)
40 41
COUNTRY-SPECIFIC NOTES
AT: Coding is integrated in some schools in the form of school
trials. It depends on regional or social curricula, whether coding is
compulsory or not.
CZ: Programming as a compulsory subject is taught particularly
in secondary vocational schools (IT study programmes); otherwise
it is an optional subject. Whether this subject is compulsory or
optional depends on the SEP and the type of school. There are
some secondary vocational schools (IT study programmes) where
programming is covered in a number of subjects, some of which
are compulsory, others optional. In other kinds of schools (mainly
grammar schools) programming is mostly offered as an optional
subject.
ES: In Catalonia, teaching related to coding is offered as part of
an optional subject of the last year of Compulsory Secondary Ed-
ucation (Lower Secondary). It is compulsory in the Autonomous
Communities of Madrid and Navarra. The subject at national level
and the one in Cataluña are optional. In the case of the Autono-
mous Community of Madrid, Primary Schools can offer a separate
optional subject about coding after compulsory school time.
FR: Coding will be in the new curricula for primary education and
lower secondary education in September 2015 and will be imple-
mented from September 2016 onwards. For primary education it
will be a first approach. There will be a course in the first year of
upper secondary school (general education), called ICN (ensei-
gnement d’exploration d’informatique et de création numérique).
Optional courses are already offered at upper secondary school
level (general education) and in some technology sections.
IE: At secondary level an optional short course on coding has
been introduced for the junior cycle programme (13-15 year olds).
No national programme at primary level.
IL: Coding is not obligatory for all students, only for software en-
gineering courses and other advanced tracks. Almost in every
school at least one class studies computer science for their ma-
triculation exams. Some of these schools have a track of software
engineering. Four years ago computer science was taught to mid-
dle school and in elementary schools.
LT: It is planned to integrate the teaching of algorithms at primary
school level.
Coding is integrated by more than half of the countries (13) at upper secondary
school level in general education. Eight of these countries also integrate it at
upper secondary level in vocational education. More countries than in 2014, i.e.
ten (Estonia, France, Israel, Spain, Slovakia, UK (England)) integrate or will inte-
grate (Belgium Flanders, Finland, Poland, Portugal) coding at primary level. In
the UK (England) and Slovakia it is a compulsory subject in primary education.
Estonia, Israel and Slovakia integrate coding at all levels of school educa-
tion. In Slovakia, coding is integrated at all levels of school education as a
compulsory element. Hence, all students learn it during their entire school
education. Poland will integrate it at all levels in 2016.
In seven countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Portugal, Slovakia,
Spain, UK (England)) it is compulsory for specific levels of education and mainly
part of a computer course. In the UK (England), computing is compulsory in state
maintained schools, while academies, free schools and independent schools
can choose – although many schools will teach it. In Denmark simple program-
ming is a compulsory part of the Physics, Chemistry and Maths curriculum.
42 43
6. Curriculum location
and integration
6.1 Curriculum location
This table looks at the part of the curriculum where computer coding is
taught and whether it is stand-alone or part of another subject.
PL: Programming will be integrated within informatics (comput-
er science) at all school levels from 2016. Today, programming
is included in the optional subject “extended informatics” in high
schools and offered only by some schools. It is also taught option-
ally at other school levels.
PT: Some vocational and general schools with technology cours-
es offer coding in their own curricula.
UK (England): In state maintained schools computing is compul-
sory but in academies, free schools and independent schools it is
not – although many schools will teach it.
44 45
SEPARATE
SUBJECT
IN TH E
GENERAL ICT/
TECHNOLOGY
COURSE
IN OTHE R
SUBJECTS
AS CROSS-
CURRICULAR
APPROACH
POLAND Informatic s X
SLOVAKIA
Programming/
Informa tics
Depend s on regional
or school curricula
XVocational subjects
SPAIN Depends on regional
or school curricula
Mathematics
Depend s on regional
or school curricula
UK (ENGLAND) Computing Depend s on regional
or school curricula
Depend s on regional
or school curricula
More countries (12) than in 2014 have established a specific coding/com-
puting subject in the curriculum, at national, but also at regional or school
level only. Moreover, 13 countries integrate coding in a general ICT/technol-
ogy course, 7 of them depending on regional or school curricula. Increas-
ingly coding is also integrated in other subjects (mainly mathematics) as
a cross-curricular approach, e.g. in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Slovakia,
Spain and France. Finland will be the first country to introduce coding in a
purely cross-curricular approach.
6. 2. Examples of current
curriculum integration
The following chapter gives an illustration of the current curriculum integra-
tion by country and more detailed information on the type of integration and
specifying curricular objectives or competences to be taught. As is shown
in this report, numerous European countries move forward with integrating
coding in their curricula. The Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Malta, Lithu-
ania and Poland have already integrated coding in their curriculum plan but
are already planning changes in their provision.
Table: curriculum location (countries which still plan to
integrate coding are highlighted)
SEPARATE
SUBJECT
IN TH E
GENERAL ICT/
TECHNOLOGY
COURSE
IN OTHE R
SUBJECTS
AS CROSS-
CURRICULAR
APPROACH
AUSTRIA Software
Development
Depend s on regional
or school curricula
Depend s on regional
or school curricula
BELGIUM
FLANDERS Not decided yet Not decided yet Not decided yet
BULGARIA Informatics
CZ ECH
REPUBLIC
Varies (e.g.
Programming)
Depend s on regional
or school curricula
Depend s on regional
or school curricula
Depend s on regional
or school curricula
DENMARK Depend s on regional
or school curricula
Depend s on regional
or school curricula
Physics, Chemistry,
Maths
ESTONIA Depends on regional
or school curricula
Depend s on regional
or school curricula
Maths, Technology,
Informatics
Depend s on regional
or school curricula
FINLAND Especially in
Mathematics
FRANCE XMathematics,
technology
HUNGARY Informatics X X
IRELAND Coding
Depend s on regional
or school curricula
(e.g. Scratch in
pri mary)
ISRAEL Computer science X
LITHUANIA X
MA LTA Computer studies
PORTUGAL Depends on regional
or school curricula
46 47
The FEP for Secondary Education already includes the basics of com-
puting as a field and the educational area is called Computing and Infor-
mation and Communication Technologies. This means that all secondary
school have to include programming into its SEP to some extent – but it
is up to the school how much time the school devotes to programming. It
may be only a part of broader subject, a special subject etc. In general,
as a separate and compulsory subject, computer programming is pri-
marily at secondary vocational technical schools, especially on IT study
programmes, although there are some grammar schools (“gymnázium”
in Czech) that include this subject in its curricula as well. It always de-
pends on what the school decides and what is contained in its School
Education Programme (SEP).
In Austria
at the technical college for ICT, coding is taught as the separate subject
“software development”.
Coding is also taught as part of school trials at lower secondary schools
with focus on Informatics with Web-based coding and a second coding
language.
At lower and upper secondary schools with informatics focus coding is
taught with two coding languages. For these schools, it depends on the
regional or school curricula, whether coding is integrated in the general
ICT/technology course.
In Belgium Flanders, digital competences and coding will be part of a wider
political and social debate on the general curriculum that is taking place
in autumn 2015. The planned curriculum reform will be based on the out-
comes of this debate. It is not clear yet, whether coding will also be part of a
general ICT course or be integrated in other subjects. Coding activities will
include modifying basic settings of software, a program or an application to
change a computer program and understanding the basic notions of pro-
gramming and how a program is constructed.
In Bulgaria “Informatics” is a compulsory subject in grade 9. Students have
2 hours tuition per week. The course teaches:
basic knowledge of concepts in computer science and mathematical
principles
Programming, algorithmic problem solving and representing information
through abstractions (e.g. models and simulations) are part of both sub-
jects: Informatics and ICT.
In the Czech Republic, computer programming is integrated at two levels:
Computer programming as a separate educational area is not currently
part of the Framework Educational Programmes (FEP) for primary edu-
cation of the Czech Republic. Primary schools can include programming
in SEP if they want – if yes, it is usually a part of computer science sub-
ject, or sometimes voluntary subject.
PLANNED CHANGES IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
The revision of the framework education programmes is in prepa-
ration and the Digital Education Strategy until 2020 contains plans
for further teacher training in this area. Introducing coding in the
national curriculum is one of the objectives and priorities of the
Digital Education Strategy until 2020: “Modernisation of the ed-
ucational area of Information and Communication Technologies
and the framework curriculum in the FEP in order to reflect current
developments in digital technologies and the potential for the use
of such technologies to develop digital literacy and emphasise ar-
eas which will help to develop pupils’ computational thinking and
give them a grounding in computing.” It is not clear yet, how cod-
ing will be integrated in the national curriculum (as a separate sub-
ject or not), what concrete activities will be covered and whether
and how much of it will be compulsory. A collaboration with other
main actors is planned.
48 49
a gateway programming language to develop computational thinking. Oth-
er coding languages are also introduced but all is at the discretion of the
teacher/school.
At secondary level an optional short course on coding has been introduced
for the junior cycle programme (13-15 year olds). Problem solving and com-
putational thinking skills are developed in this course as students build and
create software projects using their own ideas and imagination. The course
looks to build on any coding schools that primary students might have ex-
perienced while offering insight into possible future studies in computer sci-
ence and software engineering.
In Israel the computer science subject contains:
algorithmic thinking
creativity
problem solving
project programmability chapters choice
automatics, fundamentals of operating systems
programming language C#, Java & assembli
In Malta, the students learn programming with Java for two years and carry
out a practical final project at the end.
In Portugal, coding is taught in the subject “ICT”. At national level, some
schools can offer specific courses in ICT that include coding. Students
design multimedia projects (text, image, sound and video) like animations,
interactive stories and simulations. The activities aim to develop students’
computational thinking, based on a problem-solving approach and the
logical organisation of ideas (Curricular goals of ICT). In 2015 a pilot was
launched that will introduce coding activities to students of the 3rd and 4th
year in the 2015/16 school year as a special offer, outside of the curriculum.
The basics of coding or more generally computational thinking may form
part of the broader subject of ICT. Some schools offer programming as
an optional subject. The subject matter and names of optional subjects
are the choice of the school and vary greatly.
In Denmark (Grade 7-10) coding is integrated in the binding national Com-
mon Objectives for Physics and chemistry.
Knowledge about simple programming and transmission of data.
programming languages and skills of programming simple digital solu-
tions (Physics and chemistry).
In Math to enhance systematic and abstract thinking with specific guid-
ance.
In Grade 11-13 (Upper secondary education) coding is intergraded in the
optional subject Information Technology. This course is currently an ap-
proved pilot course, which is foreseen to become an optional subject in the
curriculum (Pending law treatment).
Using programming technologies for the development of IT products
and adaptation of existing IT systems (Data structures such as nested
conditions; different types of loops; functions coupling different pro-
gramming technologies; approaches to programming such as Step-
wise Improvement, Object-oriented Programming etc.) See: http://uvm.
dk/Uddannelser/Gymnasiale-uddannelser/Fag-og-laereplaner/For-
soegsfag-i-de-gymnasiale-uddannelser/Informationsteknologi-C-og-B
In Hungary starting from 2012 the Frame Curricula expect the use of ICT in
different subjects (not coding). Though Informatics is a stand-alone subject,
schools may choose to integrate it for the purposes of lessons.
Age 13-14: 1) Algorithms 2) Logo or a similar programming language, 3)
Basic commands
Age 15-16: 1) Algorithm design and analysis, 2) Problem solving
In Ireland, no national programme at primary level. Some primary school
teachers may use Scratch programming in the instruction of shape and
space in mathematics. Scratch is also used in post-primary classrooms as
50 51
for kids like “Karel”, “Baltie” or “Imagine”. Teachers also use programming
of robotic construction kits. At college (secondary school) level, students
learn to use CNC machine programming, the programming language PAS-
CAL, some of the object-oriented programming languages and HyperText
Markup Language (HTML).
In Spain, at national level Coding is introduced in the optional subject “Tec-
nologías de la Información y la Comunicación I” in upper secondary education.
In the Autonomous Community of Madrid, contents related to Robotics
and Coding have been included in the general subject “Tecnología, Pro-
gramación y Robótica”, which is the general Technology subject in the
3rd year of lower secondary education.
In the Autonomous Community of Navarra, the subject Mathematics in
the last two years of primary education has included contents connect-
ed to Algorithmic and Coding. They are to contribute to the digital com-
petence of the students.
In the UK (England), computing is a distinct subject in school curricula but
schools are free to teach it as an integrated subject or stand-alone. Teach-
ing as an integrated subject is more common at primary than secondary
level, where cross-curricular work is less common. Aims of computing in the
English national curriculum (Department for Education, 2013):*
Students:
can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of
computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data rep-
resentation;
can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical
experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems;
can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfa-
miliar technologies, analytically to solve problems;
are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information
and communication technology.
* https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-computing-
programmes-of-study
In Slovakia, algorithmic thinking/computer programming is developed in the
school subject “Informatics” (primary and secondary education) or during
other lessons. In some “Gymnasiums” (type of school providing advanced
secondary education), programming is also a separate subject or separate
thematic unit. The focus is on algorithmic problem solving and program-
ming, algorithmic thinking, problem solving and algorithms, creation of in-
structions and programs. At primary level, students learn how to program
and control a robot, design model toys and kits, programming steps and
phases and children’s programming language. At lower secondary level,
teachers use educational basic graphic-oriented visual programming tools
PLANNED CHANGES IN MALTA
The new Learning Outcomes Framework (LOF) ESF 1.228 defines
the subject focus of all subjects, including computing. This(ese)
subject(s) will be fine-tuned or amended by subject experts on the
basis of the feedback received during a public consultation pro-
cess. The LOF is intended to lead to more curricular autonomy of
colleges and schools, in order to better address students’ learn-
ing needs. The rationale for introducing the revised version of the
“computing subject” is wider* than for the current integration in
the curricula. Computing will be introduced as a cross-curricular
subject at primary level and integrated into the ICT Compulsory
Subject at secondary level. The subject will be integrated at all
education levels and will be compulsory. The main goal is to devel-
op logical problem-solving skills and introducing computational
thinking at all levels.
http://www.schoolslearningoutcomes.edu.mt/en/dashboard
* Attrac ting more s tudents to study computer sciences as part of highe r education
progra mmes, fos tering em ployabili ty in the ICT s ector, foster ing codin g skills,
fostering problem-solving skills, fostering logical thinking skills, fostering other key
competences.
5352
Case note
Poland
Poland and the new curriculum – more
emphasis on rigorous computer science and
personalised learning
In Poland, the new computer science curriculum replaces some activities
within information technology with learning rigorous computer science,
including programming. It has been accepted by the Ministry of National
Education and made available for public discussion until end of October
2015. Then it will be revised according to suggestions made and is expect-
ed to be formally adopted in 2016. In preparation, teachers will take part in
various in-service courses on how to develop school syllabi based on the
curriculum and to develop educational materials for their instruction and for
students.
The new curriculum unifies the names of all stand-alone informatics sub-
jects as Informatics. Therefore, according to the new curriculum, Informat-
ics is a compulsory subject in primary schools (grades 1-6 grades, 1 hour a
week for 6 years), middle schools (grades 7-9, 1 hour a week for two years),
and high schools (grade 10, 1 hour a week). Moreover, Informatics is also
an elective subject in high schools (grades 11-12, 3 hours a week for two
years) and high school students may graduate in Informatics, taking the final
examination (Pl. matura) in Informatics.
The new curriculum’s unified aims are as follows:
1. Understanding and analysis of problems – logical and abstract think-
ing, algorithmic thinking, algorithms and representation of information;
2. Programming and problem solving by using computers and other
digital devices – designing and programming algorithms; organising,
searching and sharing information; utilising computer applications;
3. Using computers, digital devices, and computer networks – prin-
ciples of functioning of computers, digital devices, and computer net-
works; performing calculations and executing programs;
4. Developing social competences – communication and cooperation,
in particular in virtual environments; project-based learning; taking var-
ious roles in group projects;
5. Observing law and security principles and regulations – respecting
privacy of personal information, intellectual property, data security, ne-
tiquette and social norms; positive and negative impact of technology
on culture, social life and security.
One novelty of the new national curriculum is that it also contains some
optional attainment targets which can be freely added to a subject sylla-
bus or assigned only to a group of students. These optional targets enable
teachers to support personalised learning of gifted students as well as stu-
dents with a particular interest in specific areas of computer science and
its applications (such as mathematics, science, arts). Personalisation in the
new curriculum is a means to encourage and motivate students to make
personal choices of a range of computer science topics and areas in middle
and high schools that may lead them towards a specialisation in computer
science in the next steps of their education and professional career.
In conclusion, the new curriculum recognises the value of computer science
as the underlying academic discipline and expects students to understand
and use the basic concepts and principles of computer science, analyse
and solve problems computationally, programming their solution. Nonethe-
less, students are still to apply information technology and to be competent,
creative, and responsible users of technology in other school subjects, dis-
ciplines, and areas of computer applications.
Source: Syslo, M. & Kwiatkowska, A.B. (2015): Introducing a New Computer Science Curricu-
lum for All School Levels in Poland, presented at ISSEP 2015 in Ljubljana, published in LNinCS,
Springer Verlag, 2015.
54 55
Case note
Malta
Which programming language to teach?
Considerations from curriculum integration in
Malta
In Malta, a strategy group evaluated the current integration of coding in
2014. As part of this evaluation, it also discussed the use of the program-
ming language Java in Maltese schools with relevant stakeholders. While
the report finds several constraints of the programming language as it is
currently integrated, it considers Java to be a strong programming lan-
guage, only when coding is already taught at an early age (which is one of
the recommendations of the strategy group).
The choice of programming language is an area where there are numerous
trade-offs, including:
The use of “safer” or more managed languages and environments can
help scaffold students’ learning. But such languages may provide a level
of abstraction that obscures an understanding of actual machine exe-
cution and makes is difficult to evaluate performance trade-offs. The
decision as to whether to use a “lower-level” language to promote a
particular mental model of program execution that is closer to the actual
execution by the machine is often a matter of local audience needs.
The use of a language or environment designed for introductory ped-
agogy can facilitate student learning, but may be of limited use. Con-
versely, a language or environment commonly used professionally may
expose students to too much complexity too soon (Stanford (2013)).
The result of an evaluation of Java as primary programming language in
the Computing SEC course in Malta is that Java is not achieving its goals
of teaching students programming concepts, creative problem solving and
objective thinking, all of which are a must for everyone. Java as primary
programming language is challenging, as it is a very strict, case-sensitive
language; it is anything but forgiving. Hence the students are more worried
about construction of statements and syntax than actually understanding
why they are writing that particular syntax. This can be counterproductive
to the aim of getting students excited about coding.
Java also plays a role in the optional up-take female population. Albeit un-
founded, it has become clear from meetings with teachers and students
that the female population is ingrained with the idea that they are not able
or capable of learning coding in a strict syntax manner. Obviously this is a
complete fallacy as any female as much as a male can learn programming
in a syntax environment; however, the problem persists.
Finally, with languages like Java, a simple task like putting a graph on screen
requires several hours of explanation and tens of lines of code. Thus, the
student does not experience an immediate reward for his efforts. To get the
student curious and enhance the self-exploratory nature, something which
has immediate cause and effect is needed. Robotics at secondary level is
extremely popular since with a couple of clicks you can see a motor turning
or a car moving (James Catania (2014): Computing as a Core Entitlement,
Maltese Ministry of Education and Employment).
56 57
7. Assessment of coding
skills
In order to get a full picture of the integration
of coding in the curricula, it is also important
to look at the assessment of these skills.
Almost all countries assess coding competences (Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark,
France, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia,
Spain). In Estonia, this depends on regional or school curricula. In most coun-
tries, the assessment forms part of the general assessment of the students,
e.g. exams (Austria, Bulgaria, Slovakia), school-leaving exams (Denmark, Isra-
el, Lithuania, Poland) or also project work (Ireland, Israel, Malta). For example,
in Malta, students create a practical project over two years which is subject to
a summative assessment. In Ireland, students complete a significant piece of
work in the form of a final project in the final strand of the course. The project
is divided into two parts. In the first part, each individual student identifies and
researches on a topic/challenge in computer science. In the second part, stu-
dents will work in a team. Although they are involved in a team, the student’s
individual role and contribution to the project will be the focus of the assess-
ment for certification.
If coding is integrated in a cross-curricular approach in other subjects, it is as-
sessed as part of the subject skills, e.g. in Portugal and France. In Finland, the
assessment of coding skills will also be integrated in the subject-based assess-
ment, although it is not yet clear to what extent these skills will be assessed.
In the UK (England), these skills are not formally assessed and schools are
free to test learning in a variety of ways. Students at key stage four (14-16) and
beyond may choose to pursue formal qualifications that will be assessed, for
example the new computer science GCSE. In Estonia, a level test for assessing
students’ digital competences is in preparation. The aim is to better understand
the need or benefit regarding the integration of ICT in different subjects.
8. Evaluations
of coding initiatives
Only in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary,
Israel, Malta and Spain, evaluations of coding
initiatives/pilots are already carried out.
In Malta, a strategy group comprising teaching staff, the Ministry of Edu-
cation and Employment, the University of Malta, the Malta Information &
Technology Agency and industry stakeholders contributed to the outline of
a practical strategy on how to introduce computing as a core entitlement for
all Maltese students. One issue to tackle was that too few students chose
optional STEM subjects (including Computing). The optional take-up rate
for Computing is dropping at an alarming rate of around 10-45% per year
depending on the college. One outcome of the consultation process was
that one reason was a complete lack of exposure to such a subject in early
years. Further, some students seem to have a misconception of what the
subject “Computing” covers, as they are under the impression that com-
puting is the same as ICT. Another finding was a fundamental discrepancy
between what teachers are comfortable with teaching and what they are
“expected” to know. Based on their findings, the strategy group formulated
key recommendations, e.g.:
Introduce Computing from Kindergarten to Form 5 (year 11).
Change the word “Digital Literacy” to “Computing” in the NCF2012.
Create guidelines for Kindergarten to Start Pre-Key Stage 1.
Implement a fully cross-curricular computing subject delivery to achieve
Computing outcomes jointly with core subject outcomes (Maths, Mal-
tese, English and Science) in primary (Key Stage 1, 2 and 3).
58 59
Assess Computing Primary through a cross-curricular lab book making
up 20% of each oif Maths, Maltese, English and Science marks.
Replace ICT in Secondary with Computing Core Secondary (continua-
tion – Key Stage 4 & 5).
Create C3, the Computing Competency Certification (which would be rec-
ognised as an entry requirement by MCAST ICT (unlike ECDL currently)).
Assess C3 with an automated system (like ECDL) at year 11 – compulso-
ry for every student / Make C3 a commercial product.
Change Computing optional in year 9 to Computer Science, making it
more advanced by building on years of computing instruction and ad-
dressed for more in-depth knowledge, i.e. ICT practitioners not ICT users.
Introduce a new position of Primary Computing Coordinators (full time
post, one in every school for Computing technological and pedagogical
support), , but these do not affect education on general level.
In the Czech Republic, mainly universities and IT companies (e.g. CISCO,
Microsoft, Intel, Google) carry out smaller evaluations.
In Spain, the University Rey Juan Carlos and the Autonomous Community
of Navarra collaborate in a study to measure to what extent students are
prepared to learn coding at early ages and its impact on the learning of other
subjects. The results of a quantitative, quasi-experimental experiment with 42
6th grade students aged 11 or 12 showed that there is a statistically signifi-
cant increase in the understanding of mathematical processes in the experi-
mental group, which received training in Scratch (Calao, L.A., Moreno-León,
J., Ester Correa, H. & Robles, G. (2015)). Moreover, the lack of tools to support
educators in the assessment of student projects was identified as one of the
barriers to the entry of computer programming into schools. Web applica-
tions like “Dr. Scratch”, which allows teachers and students to automatically
analyse projects coded in Scratch, can support teachers in their task. Work-
shops with 10 to 14 year old students were run in eight schools to test the
Web application. (Moreno-León, J, Robles, G & Román-González, M (2015).
9. Teacher training
and initiatives
“I
t also has to be noted that there is a gap in the digital com-
petences of teaching sta which needs to be addressed if the
teacher is to feel comfortable in front of an audience which is in-
creasingly technology-enabled
James Catania (2014): Computing as a Core Entitlement,
Maltese Ministry of Education and Employment
If coding is integrated in the curriculum to ensure that students acquire the
necessary skills, it needs to be complemented with teacher training and
initiatives that support teaching and learning coding. Teaching a program-
ming language can be a challenging task, especially for teachers who are
not teaching ICT or computer science, and teachers who have not had prior
training in this area. How are countries currently addressing this issue?
Training in this area can best be described as a mix of central support cou-
pled with stakeholder-driven initiatives. Some official training is provided in
some countries as part of in-service training and initial teacher training, but
in most cases training provided by professional stakeholders prevails.
13 of the countries which integrate coding in the curriculum already offer
in-service and/or pre-service training to support teachers in teaching cod-
ing at various levels (Austria, Bulgaria, France, Estonia, Hungary, Ireland,
Israel, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, UK (England)).
60 61
Several Ministries of Education do not offer training directly, e.g. in the
Czech Republic, France, Finland, Hungary, Lithuania and Poland. Instead, a
variety of other providers offer training. In particular, universities offer train-
ing courses in many countries but also companies and non-profit organi-
sations do so, e.g. in Belgium Wallonia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia,
Finland, Ireland, Israel and Lithuania. Training is organised at local level or
regional level in France, Finland and Poland.
Some countries offer central support in this area, e.g. via the funding of
teaching resources and training projects to help teachers to be ready to
deliver the curriculum, e.g. in the UK, Estonia, and Ireland. Countries like
Portugal support initiatives and contests at central level. Slovakia, Hungary,
Malta, and Spain provide in-service training in the area of ICT, which in-
cludes training on coding for teachers in the country. Spain provides train-
ing on coding for teachers at national level and at the level of the autono-
mous regions, where coding is integrated. In Malta, all computing teachers
were given two weeks of Java programming in-service training. Moreover,
in Slovakia the Ministry of Education has a role in providing training as well
as in-service training centres, schools and universities.
Teacher training is also considered to be important in the countries/regions
that still plan to integrate coding in their curricula, e.g. in Belgium (Flanders).
Finland does not plan to offer specific teacher training at national level, as
this is rather a task for local providers. Basic teacher training is organised
by the universities. Many coding initiatives already exist, with universities
integrating coding in their curricula.
In Denmark, no training in this area is offered to teachers by the Ministry of Ed-
ucation. However, there are bottom-up initiatives like “Coding Pirates”, an as-
sociation of volunteer teachers, programmers, researchers and entrepreneurs.
Such bottom-up initiatives exist in many countries, which provide training and
support from networks of coding enthusiasts, non-governmental organisa-
tions, private companies, teacher organisations and professional associations.
Examples of popular initiatives are coding clubs, for example in Denmark,
the Netherlands and Norway but also summer schools and programming
courses, often organised by universities and mainly aimed at secondary
students, e.g. in the Czech Republic. Competitions are means to attract
gifted students and those particularly interested in coding and to reward
particular achievements. They are organised all around Europe, e.g. in Bul-
garia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, and Poland.
Only a few countries (Austria, Estonia, Finland, Israel, Poland and Portugal)
run school pilots in this area, as outlined in more detail (where available) in
the country-specific section below. The Czech Republic, Spain and Portu-
gal also offer robotics activities. Working with robotics is both engaging and
rewarding for students as it gives instant results.
In addition, many countries support teachers by providing educational re-
sources on their national or regional portals (e.g. Ireland, Belgium Flanders,
Estonia, Netherlands); other countries promote specific coding websites
and community platforms (e.g. Bulgaria, France, Norway, Poland).
Finally, several countries also support European-wide initiatives like the
“CodeWeek” in their country, e.g. the Czech Republic, Poland, Portugal and
Spain. We provide here a short overview of official training offers in each
country and other training initiatives provided by stakeholders.
Primary
Lower secondary
(general)
Lower secondary
(vocational)
Upper secondary
(general)
Upper secondary
(vocational)
Depends on regional
or school curricula
1) Participation:
No plans to
integrate
Plans to integrate it
in the curriculum
Integrated
in the curriculum
AUSTRIA, BELGIUM FLANDERS, BELGIUM WALLONIA, BULGARIA, CZECH
REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FINLAND, FRANCE, HUNGARY, IRELAND,
ISRAEL, LITHUANIA, MALTA, THE NETHERLANDS, NORWAY, POLAND,
PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, THE UNITED KINGDOM (ENGLAND)
CROATIA, GERMANY, ICELAND, LATVIA, ROMANIA, SLOVENIA, SWEDEN,
SWITZERLAND, UK (SCOTLAND)
CYPRUS, GREECE, ITALY, LUXEMBOURG
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, THE CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FRANCE,
HUNGARY, IRELAND, LITHUANIA, MALTA, SPAIN, POLAND, PORTUGAL,
SLOVAKIA, THE UK (ENGLAND), ISRAEL
BELGIUM FLANDERS, FINLAND
BELGIUM WALLONIA, NETHERLANDS, NORWAY
ESTONIA, FRANCE, ISRAEL, SPAIN, SLOVAKIA, UK (ENGLAND), BELGIUM
FLANDERS, FINLAND, POLAND, PORTUGAL
AUSTRIA, BELGIUM (NL), DENMARK, ESTONIA, FINLAND, IRELAND, ISRAEL,
LITHUANIA, POLAND, PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, UK (ENGLAND)
BELGIUM (NL), ESTONIA, ISRAEL, SLOVAKIA
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FRANCE, HUNGARY, ISRAEL,
LITHUANIA, MALTA, POLAND, SLOVAKIA, SPAIN, UK (ENGLAND)
AUSTRIA, BULGARIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, HUNGARY,
ISRAEL, POLAND, PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA
AUSTRIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, ESTONIA, IRELAND, POLAND, SPAIN
21 countries
participated
in the survey
No information
Countries, which
only participated in
the 2014 report
Training offered by :
Universities Companies The Ministries
of Education
Non-profit
organizations
62 63
Austria
Universities like the University College of Education of the Diocese Linz of-
fer training courses. School pilots are organised at the school level in sec-
ondary schools. In some cases, primary students are also introduced to
easy coding e.g. with Scratch.
campaign “Werde digital” from digital champions, digital competences
(www.digikomp.at)
The Alpen Adria Universität in Klagenfurt/Kärnten, one of the leading
iniversities in the area of e learning and coding: (http://www.informatik-
didaktik.com/; http://informatikwerkstatt.jimdo.com/)
Belgium Flanders
The Ministry of Education collaborates with the following initiatives:
www.i22n.org : advocacy and awareness raising
www.stem-academie.be : course, activities, coaching for schools
www.klascement.be : educational repository with about 132 learning objects
www.kvab.be : advice and advocacy
Belgium Wallonia
As part of the École numérique’s third call for projects, two of the 200 select-
ed schools have developed a project involving an introduction to comput-
er programming for children of primary education through applications like
Scratch. Both projects will be carried out during the school year 2015/2016.
“École numérique” is the ICT equipment plan for education in the Walloon
Region in partnership with the Wallonia Brussels Federation. Moreover,
external companies introduce students to programming with projects like
“KODU training” (children from Brussels Region schools).
Bulgaria
The Mathematics and Informatics faculties of most universities provide
pre-service and in-service teacher training.
The Bulgarian Scratch society and Varna Free University “Chernorizets
Hrabar” organise teacher training and competitions for students in pri-
mary and lower secondary school.
The INFOS platform provides information and tasks related to the Na-
tional Olympiad and tournaments in informatics.
Czech Republic
The Ministry of Education does not offer any courses directly. Teachers
benefit, however, from coding courses offered by universities, business-
es and non-profit organisations. Moreover, the Digital Education Strategy
running until 2020 contains plans for further teacher training in this area. A
variety of bottom-up activities exist, e.g.:
Summer schools and programming courses for students, often organ-
ised by universities and mainly aimed at secondary school students,
some also targeting particular groups like girls and gifted students
Competitions, e.g.: Informatics Beaver, Baltík Creative Computing com-
petition
Networking teachers of ICT and computer science (NGO Union of Infor-
maticians in Education – Jednota skolskych informatiku)
Programming courses for IT teachers organised by universities or
non-profit organisations
Robotic activities
64 65
Denmark
In Denmark, no training in this area is offered to teachers by the Ministry of
Education. However, bottom-up initiatives like “Coding pirates”, an associ-
ation of volunteer teachers, programmers, researchers and entrepreneurs,
exist.
Estonia
The Information Technology Foundation for Education (HITSA) runs the cod-
ing programme called “ProgeTiger”. The programme’s goal is to enhance
learners´ technological literacy and digital competence; its main target
group is teachers in preschool, primary and vocational education. HITSA
offers:
opportunities for teachers to integrate technology into the curriculum
(educational resources and training opportunities)
financial support for schools to acquire programmable devices
contests for student teachers
free teaching and learning resources available on the website
webinars and guidelines to support learning about different tools/platforms.
Besides HITSA, also universities, NGOs and companies deliver training to
teachers and life-long learners. The Look@World Foundation organises ex-
tracurricular activities for children.
France
Teacher training is driven by the Ministry of Education and implemented and
organised locally. The Académies (local education authorities) are in charge
of teacher training. In addition, education platforms like inria and tangara
and a contest “Découverte du codage des object numériques” are offered
to teachers.
Finland
In Finland where the new curricula will be in use next year, teacher basic
training is organised for example by the universities. It is not planned to of-
fer specific teacher training at national level, as this is rather a task for local
providers. However, the National Board of Education funds several projects
where schools are developing the use of coding in learning and teaching.
Moreover, there are numerous national initiatives in the area of coding in
schools, run by private persons, universities, and various associations, e.g.
koodikerho, koodi2016 and koodaustunti.
Hungary
In Hungary, teachers can choose from a variety of programmes from the
in-service teacher training system. The most popular training courses are
offered by the Association of ICT Teachers. This association and univer-
sities also offer resources for ICT teachers and coding competitions are
organised for students.
66 67
Ireland
ICT in Teaching and Learning is a mandatory element of all Initial Teacher
Education (ITE) programmes and optional modules on coding may be of-
fered by some providers. There are also some ITE courses which include
mandatory modules on coding in the Post-Primary ITE sector e.g. the BSC
Mathematics with Education Course offered by NUI Maynooth. In the Pri-
mary ITE sector, coding is not included as a mandatory element but there
are some electives offered e.g. in Mary Immaculate College the Scratch
Education Elective is aimed at students interested in equipping themselves
with the skills required to effectively use introductory computer program-
ming (i.e. Scratch) to support teaching and learning across the curriculum.
Summer and term time professional development courses have been de-
signed and mediated by the Professional Development Service for Teachers
in conjunction with LERO (The Irish Software Engineering Research Centre),
to interested Primary and Post-Primary teachers, where the use of Scratch
to develop literacy and numeracy has been explored. In addition, bottom-up
initiatives help children to learn to code, e.g. digital content on the Scoilnet
website and the translation of Scratch into Irish that has been provided by
PDST to MIT, the developers of Scratch, so it is possible for students in Irish
speaking schools to code in Irish.
Israel
New teacher training programmes will include learning on ICT. The focus
of school pilots in Israel is to examine new directions in teaching computer
science (cyber protection, application development, modern operating sys-
tems, parallel programming). Companies also provide training and support
projects to help update curricula.
Lithuania
The Ministry of Education itself does not provide any teacher training but
collaborates with educational centres, universities and students’ non-formal
education institutions like correspondence schools and clubs. In addition,
several initiatives to support teaching and learning coding exist.
Malta
All computing teachers were given two weeks of Java programming in-ser-
vice training. Moreover, the eLearning Department runs a pilot project to
introduce tablets for every students in year 4 primary education level. Malta
has run a school pilot last year alongside the pilot for tablet use in class-
rooms.In Malta teacher training is done within the confines of the unions
and is mostly delivered during in-service training by fellow colleagues. Con-
tinuous support is given through peripatetic (support) teachers which are
responsible for Digital Literacy in state schools.
Netherlands
An initiative for schools that want to dig deeper into the subject of program-
ming is organised by the national organisation for primary education PO-
raad, together with Kennisnet, the national institute for curriculum develop-
ment (SLO) and others. These schools will create a curriculum of their own.
The results of this initiative will be shared with all schools in the Netherlands.
SLO is working on developing goals/a possible curriculum on digital compe-
tences, including programming/computational thinking. In general, there is
a lot of development in this area and numerous other initiatives such as Co-
derDojo’s, StichtingCodeUur, Codkinderen.nl, Codeklas,nl and MakerEd.nl.
68 69
Norway
Some schools offer programming as an after-school activity. Interesting
initiatives are in particular “Lær kidsa koding” (“Teach kids to code”) and
“Kodeklubben” (“Code Club”). “Teach kids to code” is a volunteer network
of enthusiasts who aim to ensure that all children have the opprtunity to
learn programming. The network consists of schools, the government, IT
companies, libraries and universities and has several international partners,
such as code.org and Code Club. It provides resources for teachers who
want to start teaching programming, including how coding can be included
in the existing curriculum (i.e. mathematics). Kodeklubben is a Norwegian
version of the British initiative, run by “Lær Kidsa koder”. It offers ready-
made teaching plans which can be used by enthusiasts who want to start a
local code club. The idea behind Kodeklubben is that volunteers with pro-
gramming experience teach kids to code during or after school hours. Many
schools have already started teaching programming to kids as part of the
optional subject “Technology in Practice” (lower secondary school), or as
part of mathematics, natural science, etc. Kodeklubben have an overview of
material that can be used to teach and learn coding, including a list of mate-
rial translated into Norwegian. Several libraries have built maker spaces and
offer programming courses.
Spain
The Ministry of Education offers at national level various forms of training
for teachers at all educational stages, for instance the online course “De
espectador a programador” or the face-to-face course “Conecta el mundo
físico y digital programando”. Moreover, the Autonomous Communities of
Andalucía, Castilla-La Mancha, Cataluña, Comunidad Valenciana, Galicia,
La Rioja, Madrid and Navarra offer their teachers training-related coding. In
addition, several initiatives to support teaching and learning coding exist.
Slovakia
The Institute for In-Service Teachers’ education MPC provides education
and training in the field of Digital Technologies and ICT. MPC provides
continual education for educators and professional staff of schools for the
whole country. In addition, MPC, the Ministry of Education, schools and
universities offer teaching and learning resources.
Poland
In Poland, the Ministry of Education no longer organises teacher training.
However, universities, non-public organisations and local training centres
offer training, some of it funded by EU grants. There are initiatives run by
non-governmental organisations, private companies, and private people,
e.g. Baltie, The Hour of Code, The Bebras Competition, and The Masters
of Coding (Samsung). Most of them are available through educational cod-
ing platforms and provide learning and teaching materials for students and
teachers. Moreover, school pilots will be proposed by local governments
and supported by EU grants.
Portugal
The Ministry of Education organises and promotes several initiatives ei-
ther directly or through teacher training centres and other partners, such
as courses on Coding in primary school (Computational Thinking, Learn-
ing Scenarios, KODU), the Scratch community, “Scratch day”, Code week,
Coding and Robotics Clubs, workshops and conferences. The aim is to
have teachers and students engaged in this area. In the next school year
201/2016, 1,950 primary schools will be involved with about 37,000 stu-
dents in a coding pilot. The Ministry of Education has invited all Portuguese
schools to participate in the project with their 3rd and 4th graders (8-10
years old).
70 71
UK (England)
In 2014-15, the Department funded projects to the value of £3.5 million to
help train and support teachers to deliver the new national curriculum in
computing. In 2015-16, the department is providing further funding (be-
tween £700,000 and £1.2m) to the British Computer Society to develop the
“Network of Excellence” and the Master teachers’ scheme. Master teachers
of computing will be trained and will then train other teachers across prima-
ry and secondary schools. This scheme will become self-supporting. The
development of resources for primary teachers (Barefoot computing) is also
funded. Moreover, there are a number of non-governmental organisations
that run programmes designed to engage young people. Good examples
of these are the Code Club, CoderDojo, Computer Clubs for Girls and the
“Young Rewired State”. There are a number of projects, both funded by the
Department for Education, industry and others to produce resources for
teachers. An example of this is the matched funding programme which has
produced a number of public/private joint funded programmes.
10. Collaboration with key
stakeholders in the eld
As described in the previous section, developing coding skills for teachers
and students often needs to be done in partnership with other bodies and
also depends on active pioneer schoolteachers. This reflects the shared
interest in ensuring that skill levels in this field match the aspirations and
needs of society and industry over the coming decades. 13 countries (AT,
BE (NL), BG, FR, EE, ES, IL, IE, LT, PL, PT, SK, UK (England)) reported on
their collaboration with a variety of key stakeholders in the field through
mechanisms such as industry partnerships, sector organisations, teacher
and subject associations, computer society clubs, IT/media literacy foun-
dations and through activities to raise awareness (e.g. campaigns, com-
petitions and media coverage). Finland also plans to collaborate with other
stakeholders.
Austria: In some regions, Technical colleges are working in cooperation with
industry, together with the Federal Ministry of Education and Women’s Affairs.
Belgium Flanders: Collaboration activities with the main actors in the field
are already taking place, e.g. voluntary STEM academies like CoderDojo,
coding clubs and technology labs, NGO’s like i22nn Technopolis, the Na-
tional Science Academy and the National and Regional Chamber of En-
gineers, teacher training institutions and the Knowledge Centre for Media
Literacy and with libraries (as part of the general Media Literacy Policy).
Bulgaria: The Ministry of Education and Science organised a National Ol-
ympiad and tournaments in informatics, in partnership with the Union of
Bulgarian Mathematicians.
Czech Republic: In 2014, the Ministry of Education officially supported/
endorsed the Codeweek activities in the Czech Republic.
72 73
Estonia: Cooperation between schools, universities, companies and em-
ployers’ organisations is encouraged and supported.
France: Following a call for projects on entrepreneurship (investissements
d’avenir), four projects focusing on coding have been selected.
Ireland: Two writers were commissioned by the National Council for Cur-
riculum and Assessment (NCCA) to write the coding course. These writers
were guided by NCCA executive offers, the NCCA’s internal Board for Junior
Cycle (which is made up of representative groups), some consultative focus
groups, and finally by a wider public consultation process. The PDST Tech-
nology in Education has also collaborated with the Irish software engineer-
ing research centre “Iero” for the design of Scratch courses for teachers
(online and face to-face courses).
Israel: High-tech companies support projects that help to update curricula.
Lithuania: The Ministry of Education collaborates with different stakehold-
ers: teacher development seminars (educational centres, universities), stu-
dents’ non-formal education institutions (correspondence schools, clubs).
Poland: The Council for Informatisation of Education is an advisory board to the
Ministry of Education. The Council works on various topics related to informat-
ics and computer science education in Poland, such as educational standards,
strategic documents and e-textbooks, and has recently proposed a new national
curriculum for computer science education for all school levels in Poland.
Portugal: The Ministry of Education works, through partnerships, with dif-
ferent academic and industry stakeholders.
Spain: The Ministry of Education promoted the “CodeWeek” in Spain, along
with the initiative Programamos.
UK (England): The Department of Education provides support via bundling
forces with other organisations working in this area, often in partnership with
industry. Professional bodies such as the British Computer Society, Computing
at School and NAACE provide resources and training packages for teachers.
A number of universities, e.g. Oxford University, Queen Mary’s University Lon-
don, Hertfordshire, Northampton, Edge Hill and Oxford Brookes Universities
have also developed teaching resources and training packages for teachers.
74 75
Moreno-León, J, Robles, G & Román-González, M (2015): Dr. Scratch:
Automatic Analysis of Scratch Projects to Assess and Foster Computational
Thinking. http://www.um.es/ead/red/46/moreno_robles.pdf
Stanford (2013), Curriculum Guidelines for Undergraduate Degree Pro-
grams in Computer Science Computer Science Curricula The Joint Task
Force on Computing Curricula, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
IEEE Computer Society.
Syslo, M. & Kwiatkowska, A .B. (2015): Introducing a New Computer Sci-
ence Curriculum for All School Levels in Poland, presented at ISSEP 2015 in
Ljubljana, published in LNinCS, Springer Verlag, 2015.
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Europe. European Schoolnet http://www.eun.org/c/document_library/get_
file?uuid=521cb928-6ec4-4a86-b522-9d8fd5cf60ce&groupId=43887
Berr y, M (2013): Computing in the national curriculum: A guide for prima-
ry teachers. NAACE http://www.computingatschool.org.uk/data/uploads/
CASPrimaryComputing.pdf
Calao, L.A., Moreno-Leon, J., Ester Correa, H. & Robles, G. (2015): De-
veloping Mathematical Thinking with Scratch: An Experiment with 6th Grade
Students. http://jemole.me/replication/2015ectel/CodeMath_Draft.pdf
Catania, J. (2014): Computing as a Core Entitlement. Maltese Ministry of
Education and Employment – Department of eLearning (DeL) and Depart-
ment of Curriculum in the Directorate of Quality and Standards in Education
(DQSE)
European Commission (2015): Communication from the Commission to
the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social
Committee and the Committee of the Regions. Draft 2015 Joint Report of
the Council and the Commission on the implementation of the Strategic
framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET2020).
COM(2015) 408 final
Ferrari, A. (2013): DIGCOMP: A Framework for Developing and Understand-
ing Digital Competence in Europe, Joint Research Centre of the European
Commission
Gow, P. (2015): Teaching Computer Programming is back. Why now? A new
culture of coding.
76 77
In the Frame Curricula, subject ICT: Programming (ENG) –
programozás (HU)
In the National Core Curriculum: Algorithm design (ENG) –
algoritmizálá (HU), data modelling (ENG) – adatmodellezés (HU)
HU
Coding (ENG) IE
Algorithmic applications and algorithms (ENG) IL
Programming Fundamentals, Programming (ENG)
Programavimo pradmenys, Programavimas (LT)
LT
Coding = general English ter m
Programming = commonly use d for highe r level synta x basic
coding [Computational Thinking]
MT
Programming (ENG) – programmering (NO)
Coding (ENG) – koding (NO)
The terms programming and coding are used somewhat
interchangeably. The terms have not yet been dened for the
school c urricul um, but the general meaning is the same as for the
corresponding English terms.
NO
Coding (ENG) – coderen (NL)
Programming (ENG) – programmeren (NL)
Computational thinking as a term is used a lot as well, so far there
is not a real Dutch language term for this.
NL
Programming (ENG) – programowanie (PL)
(Computer) programming (ENG) – programowanie komputerów (PL)
Computer programming is a part of the problem-solving process
with a computer which involves:
(1) analysis of a problem situation;
(2) designing an algorithm and data structure;
(3) checking the correctness of the algorithm;
(4) implementation of the algorithm;
(5) program testing and verication;
(6) extensions and applications.
PL
Computing Environment Exploitation (ENG) PT
Computer programming and coding (ENG) – počítačové
programovanie a kódovanie (SK)
Computer programming, object programming, coding, encryption,
algorithmic thinking, algorithmic problem solving
SK
11. Annex I Terms used for
coding at national level
TERM USED COUNTRY
Only at Technical colleges “Informationstechnologie” (HTL):
Subject “Softwareentwicklung”: software development,
systemtechnics, networktechnics, project management etc.
http://www.htl.at/leadmin/content/Lehrplan/HTL_VO_2011/BGBl_
II_Nr_300_ 2011_Anlage_1_5.pdf
AT
Computational thinking and programming: To be able to dene a
set of instructions to reach a given goal from a given starting point;
to be able to write a concrete set of instructions for a computer to
let the computer execute a certain task (ENG).
Comput ationee l denken en p rogrammeren: een reeks instructie s
kunnen deniëren om vanaf eenbeginpunt een bepaald doel te
bereike n, een con crete verz ameling instruc ties voor een compute r
kunnen schrijven zodat de computer de taak uitvoert (NL).
BE (NL)
Informatics (ENG) – Информатика (BG) BG
Computational thinking (ENG)CZ
Programming (ENG) – Programmering (DK) DK
Programming (ENG) – programmeerimine (EST)
Technology education (ENG) – tehnoloogiaharidus (EST)
Technology literacy (ENG) – tehnoloogiline kirjaoskus (EST)
Digital competence (ENG) – digipädevus (EST)
EE
Programming, algorithmic and robotics (ENG) – Programación,
algoritmica and robótica (ES)
So far, coding has been integrated into other subjects, e.g.
Mathematics or Technology. The curriculum refers to these
contents as Programming, algorithmics and robotics.
ES
Programming (ENG) – Ohjelmointi (FI) FI
Coding (ENG) – Codage (FR) FR
78 79
13. Annex III Curriculum
integration
DK 2014
ES Coding has been int roduced in the curriculum thi s very sch ool year
for the whole countr y in an optional subject in Upper Secondary
Education and also in 3 Autonomous Communities, in Primary
education in one case (Navarra) and in Lower Secondary Education
in the other two (Madrid and Cataluña).
FR The new curricula for school (primary education and lower
secondary education) will be published in September 2015 and
implemented in September 2016. The should include coding
for children from their 3rd year of primar y education (age 8) and
students in lower secondary education
HU 1995
IE 2014
IL 1976
LT Since 1986, Foundations of Computer Science and Computer
Engineering;
Since 1999, Informatics;
Since 2002, Information technology
MT Coding has been part of the curriculum (in an optional computing
subject) since its inception in 1997
PL Since the subject called informatyka was introduced to formal
education – 1985
PT September, 2012
SK Approx. since 1990 / From the 5th grade – Lower secondary
education (age 10 - 11), as a part of the subject Informatics.
Subject Computer programming, Coding – as an optional subject
at many Gymnasiums, or as a part of dierent specialised subjects
at some Vocational and secondary schools. Subject called
Computer Technology was compulsory in Slovakia at some school
already in 1984.
UK (ENGLAND) September 2014
12. Annex II Digital
Competence plans
AT www.digikomp.at
BE (NL) http://onderwijs.vlaanderen.be/onderwijspersoneel/van-basis-tot-
volwassenenonderwijs/op-het-werk/lespraktijk/leermiddelen-en-
projecten/ict-in-de-klas
BE (FR) http://www.enseignement.be/passeporttic
CZ http://www.msmt.cz/ministerstvo/strategie-digitalniho-vzdelavani-
do-roku-2020
DK http://www.emu.dk/modul/it-og-medier-vejledning
EE https://www.hm.ee/en/estonian-lifelong-learning-strategy-2020
(digital focus)
ES http://educalab.es/
FR http://eduscol.education.fr/pid26435/enseigner-avec-le-
numerique.html
IL http://cms.education.gov.il/EducationCMS/UNITS/MadaTech/csit
LT http://www.smm.lt/web/lt/lawacts/view/item.715/type.custom
MT http://curriculum.gov.mt/en/resources/the-ncf/pages/default.aspx
NL https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/onderwijs-2032/inhoud/
toekomstgericht-curriculum
NO http://www.udir.no/Stottemeny/English/Curriculum-in-English/_
english/Framework-for-Basic-Skills/
PT http://www.dge.mec.pt/educacao-para-os-media
UK (ENGLAND) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-
in-england-computing-programmes-of-study
80 81
Programming courses for IT teachers organis ed by univer sities
or non-prot organisations, such as:
http://tib.cz/tvorivyucitel/obsah.htm
http://projekty.upce.cz/bravo-ii/akce/irer-seminar-programovani.html
Textbook “Computing for All” (Informatika pro každého)
Robotic activities
Robosoutěž – FEL ČVUT
Robotický den – MFF UK
First Lego League
Networking teachers of ICT and computer science (NGO Union
of Informaticians in Education – Jednota skolskych informatiku)
ES TO NI A School-based projects and school blogs. Examples:
Pelgulinna Gymnasium
Gustav Adlof Gymnasium
Lillekyla Gymnasium
Teacher networks, Facebook groups. Examples:
Informaatikaõpetajate FB kogukond (Informatics)
M-õppe kogukond FB-s (mobile learning)
Hariduslikud mängud (educational games)
3D printerid Eesti koolides (3D printers)
Eesti Kodu Game Lab kogukond (KODU Game lab)
Raspberry Pi Eesti (Raspberry Pi)
The Look@World Foundation organise s extracu rricular activit ies for
children.
FINLAND http://www.koodikerho.
www.koodi2016.
www.koodaustunti.
FR AN CE Competitions Découver te du codage des object numériques,
tangara
IRELAND Scoilnet
LITHUANIA Jaunųjų programuotojų mokykla
Robotikos akademija
Ivairios privačios neformalaus ugdymo mokyklos
14. Annex IV Links to
initiatives supporting teaching
and learning coding
AUSTRIA www.digikomp.at
BELGIUM
FLANDERS www.i22n.org : advocacy and awareness rising
www.stem-academie.be/ : course, ac tivitie s, coaching for schools
www.klascement.be : educational repository with about 132
learning objects
www.kvab.be : advice and a dvocacy
BULGARIA INFOS platform
Telerik Kids Academy
Bulgarian Scratch society
CZ ECH
REPUBLIC Codeweek.cz
Summer schools and programming courses students:
Codecamp.cz – focus on programming
Letní Škola IT ČVUT (CTU IT Summer School)
Letní Škola IT pro dívky ze SŠ (IT Summer School for
Secondary School Girls) (Czechitas)
Letní Škola IT pro dívky (IT Summer School for Girls) (FIT VUT
in Brno)
Programming courses aimed at girls – Czechitas.cz
Microsoft programming academy
Programming courses for gifted students
Competitions, e.g.:
Beaver of Informatic s (Bobřík informatiky)
Competition for upper secondary schools in programming
(Soutěž v programování SŠ - vyšší programovací jazyk y)
Baltík Creative Computing competition (Soutěž tvořivé
informatiky Baltík)
Junior internet
82 83
SPA IN Examples of other initiative s to suppor t teachin g and lear ning
coding are:
Programamos: non-formal training
Community Código21
Initiative CodeMadrid
Programme mSchools
UK (ENGLAND) Code Club
CoderDojo
Compute r Clubs for G irls
Young Rewired State
NETHERLANDS CoderDojo’s in a several cities.
Stichting CodeUur gives “guest” lessons at schools.
Several libraries or library organisations have started so called
“Maker buses”, mobile fab labs which also oer programming to
schools.
Codekinderen.nl: website created by Kennisnet that oers an
overview of tools and guidance for schools that want to teach
programming.
Codeklas.nl: book with practical examples for schools.
MakerEd.nl: platform created by Dutch Maker Education
forerunners where teachers share their experiences with
(amongst other things) programming in education.
Kennisnet shares information through articles, yers, posters and
booklets on this subject at: https://www.kennisnet.nl/digitale-
vaardigheden/programmeren-maken/
NO RWAY Kodeklubben (Code Club) resources for learning to code:
http://kodeklubben.no/
List of teacher plans and teacher blogs related to teaching
coding in school from “Lær Kids Koding”:
http://www.kidsakoder.no/skole
Nor wegian Centre for ICT in Education oer a web portal for
teachers to share teaching plans and experiences with coding:
https://iktipraksis.iktsenteret.no/tema /koding-i-skolen
POLAND Baltie environment used in some schools;
The Hour of Code (http://godzinakodowania.pl/)
The Bebras Competition (in November each year)
The Masters of Coding (Samsung) in K-9
Olympiads in Informatics for middle and high schools;
Several local and regio nal compe titions on programming in
various environments (Logo, Python, Scratch, Pascal,…
European Coding Week
PORTUGAL Sever al initia tives and co ntests, e specially in the rob otics are a:
Scratch community
http://www.roboparty.org/
http://robotica2015.utad.pt/pt-pt/
Par ticipation in the la st World Cha mpionsh ip of Roboti cs in
China with four teams, with excellent results:
http://www.robocup2015.org/
84 85
16. Acknowledgements
European Schoolnet would like to thank all Ministries of Education, organi-
sations nominated to act on their behalf and experts that provided informa-
tion for this report.
COUNTRY ORGANISATION
AUSTRIA Federal Ministr y of Education and Women’s Aairs
BELGIUM
FLANDERS Flemish Ministr y of Education & Training
BELGIUM
WALLO NI A Ministère de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles/Service général du
Pilotage du Système éducatif/Direction Enseignement.be
BULGARIA Ministry of Education
CZ ECH
REPUBLIC Dům zahraniční spolupráce (Centre for International Cooperation in
Education, DZS)
DENMARK National Agency for IT and Learning, Ministr y of Education
FINLAND Finnish National Board of Education
FRANCE Ministry of education, higher education and research
HUNGARY Educatio Public Services Non-prot LLC
ES TO NI A Information Technology Foundation for Education (HITSA)
IRELAND Depart ment of Educ ation and Skills
IS RA EL Ministry of Education
LITHUANIA Education Development Centre
15. Annex V Country codes
AT Austria
BE (FR) Belgium Wallonia
BE (NL) Belgium Flanders
BG Bulgaria
CZ Czech Republic
DK Denmark
EE Estonia
ES Spain
FI Finland
FR France
HU Hungary
IE Ireland
IL Israel
LT Lithuania
MT Malta
NL Netherlands
NO Norway
PL Poland
PT Portugal
SK Slovakia
UK (ENGLAND) United Kingdom (England)
86 87
Notes
MA LTA Ministry of Education and Employment, Malta Information
Technology Agency
NETHERLANDS Kennisnet Foundation
NO RWAY Norwegian Centre for ICT in Education
POLAND Ministry of National Education
PORTUGAL Directorate-General for Education
SLOVAKIA Institute for In-Service Teachers’ Education and Training –
Metodicko-pedagogické centrum (MPC)
SPA IN Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport
UK (ENGLAND) Department for Education
Computing
our future
Computer programming and coding
Priorities, school curricula and initiatives
across Europe
www.europeanschoolnet.org
http://eskills4jobs.ec.europa.eu
www.allyouneediscode.eu
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