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When are operator priorities for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division typically taught in school? This this obviously differs by geography, I'm trying to understand how common it is for computer programming languages (JavaScript, more precisely) to be taught before operator priorities.

I know some forms of programming (e.g. Logo) may be taught quite early, but I doubt they're taught before the fact that * and / have higher priority than + and -.

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    $\begingroup$ Why do you assume that JavaScript is taught in school at all? Do you have references for that or do you know of an area where it is rather common? Are you only asking for certain areas (e.g. the US), or do you want world wide statistics? $\endgroup$ – Dirk Jul 5 '17 at 10:41
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    $\begingroup$ I don't have much of a citation (e.g. corestandards.org/Math/Content/5/OA), but "PEMDAS" is already taught by late elementary school many places in the US so presumably what you want is even earlier. $\endgroup$ – kcrisman Jul 5 '17 at 13:11
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    $\begingroup$ @kcrisman: Your comment should be turned into an (likely the best possible) answer. $\endgroup$ – Daniel R. Collins Jul 5 '17 at 13:49
  • $\begingroup$ I guess mods can do that? $\endgroup$ – kcrisman Jul 5 '17 at 14:43
  • $\begingroup$ I was under the impression that the order of operations was taught at about the same time as the operations themselves. For example, counting, adding, and subtracting in first grade; adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing in second and third grade; exponentiation in fifth grade; functions in seventh through twelfth grade. Computer programming is typically taught to students who already know how to multiply and divide. Is my impression consistent with that of people who have worked with grade school students more recently than I have? $\endgroup$ – Jasper Jul 5 '17 at 21:28
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One data point here ... order of operations, 5th grade (age approx 11). I don't know what (if any) programming instruction occurs by that age.

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  • $\begingroup$ This was approximately my experience as well, California public schools ca. 1976. Pace @Jasper, it is not my recollection that operator precedence was taught along with the operators themselves. I think we were taught multiplication a couple of years before we were taught that it had higher priority than addition. It might have been mentioned early on but not emphasized until later, when algebra was looming on the horizon. The US Common Core standards seem to have multiplication in grade 3, order of operations in grade 6. Students in the US typically take algebra in 9th grade. $\endgroup$ – Ben Crowell Jul 6 '17 at 19:14

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