Why do we have the tag on Stack Overflow? Isn't this an unnecessary meta tag?

Specific to instruction, learning or teaching of, or by programmers

Trogdor, care to burninate this?


Update (2012/02/01)

This tag still has 506 questions. Do we really need it?

  • Not only it's a meta tag, but question about programming education should be migrated to Programmers.SE where it's on topic. The only reason I could see this tag being kept is for the purpose of detecting off-topic question more easily.
    – HoLyVieR
    Commented Sep 27, 2011 at 1:33
  • This proposal is for Stack Overflow only, right? Commented Sep 28, 2011 at 4:12
  • @AndrewGrimm Good point. That's the only site I was looking at, yes. Commented Sep 28, 2011 at 4:34
  • +1 I'm gonna start voting to close some of these questions. Feel free to join in the burnination.
    – user172164
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 5:11
  • @JoelCoehoorn I seem to be running into a lot of your edits where you applied the education tag. Care to pitch in here in case there's something else we should be aware of? (I'm not sure whether this notification will even work though...)
    – user172164
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 5:46
  • Ahem - did you forget something??? Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 20:29
  • @AdamRackis Indeed I did! Fixed. :) Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 6:58
  • The tag is burned!
    – user1228
    Commented Aug 26, 2013 at 20:19
  • @Won't Excellent! Commented Aug 29, 2013 at 2:44

3 Answers 3


Don't burninate it yet. Otherwise there's no way to have access to questions which are very likely eligible for close, migration or deletion.

If you can, vote the already closed ones for deletion.

Vote the still open ones which do not contain a concrete technical programming question for close as Not a real question, Not constructive or Offtopic, depending on the content. Retag the concrete ones to remove the tag. The better ones (usually with high votes, having an accepted answer and a lot of backreferences -check the Linked list-, could eventually be voted for migration to programmers.se.

The following tags needs similar treatment (and a synonym merge): and .

I ran out of my delete votes for today.


The 'education' tag was today used on this question. I had never seen it before.

As this example shows, the tag is clearly used to annotate questions whose purpose is to educate the questioner on programming techniques. This means it's either useless (because every SO question serves that purpose in one way or another), or it is misused as a replacement for the 'homework' tag, which has been deprecated for good reasons.

I suggest that we publicly discourage any use of the 'education' tag and deprecate it in the same way as we did the 'homework' tag, possibly before it starts being used as widely as 'homework' was.

If somebody does see a good reason to keep this tag, e.g. to mark questions about education-related programming tools, then this restricted use must be described very clearly in the tag info.

  • 1
    Incidentally, I've just edited the tag wiki excerpt. I am working on cleaning up the tag; while many of the questions posted with it need to be deleted, many of they also simply need the tag removed. Commented Jun 9, 2013 at 12:22
  • @AndrewBarber Ok, cool. Based on the edited tag wiki, I'll remove the tag from the question cited above (unless you removed it already). Thanks.
    – jogojapan
    Commented Jun 9, 2013 at 13:05
  • Looks like someone else already did :) Commented Jun 9, 2013 at 13:05

Your thinking is the whole site is a method of educating programmers, right?

But what if the question is about programming education? If such a question is appropriate, then so would the tag be, IMO.

  • 1
    It's a meta tag... and we don't like meta tags. Commented Sep 26, 2011 at 22:31
  • 2
    “If the tag can’t work as the only tag on a question, it’s probably a meta-tag.” Are there no [education]-tagged articles that are about education?
    – Alan H.
    Commented Sep 26, 2011 at 22:37
  • 1
    Looking at articles tagged education, it does seem to be used as the primary topic / most important tag. Therefore not a subjective “meta tag” as defined in Atwood’s blog post. Keep it.
    – Alan H.
    Commented Sep 26, 2011 at 22:39
  • 4
    Look again. Questions with that tag are either seriously off topic and is/needs to be closed or it's used as a replacement tag for the beginner or learning tags. There is no question about education that could objectively be applied to programming other than "I want to learn so and so." Commented Sep 26, 2011 at 22:44
  • 5
    Programming education question are a better fit for programmers.stackexchange.com in general. The education tag isn't really appropriate of Stack Overflow.
    – HoLyVieR
    Commented Sep 27, 2011 at 1:31

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