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Re: [seul-edu] [Fwd: thoughts on teaching programming]

For students who have already decided they will learn how to program 
computers if only they can understand how to do it, an adequate response 
might be "You can understand how to program in C/C++; here's how."  For 
students who haven't decided whether they want to program computers or not, 
this response isn't adequate. Students who aren't "retards" and don't need 
"dumbed-down" material will tend to ask questions such as (1) Is this 
interesting or boring?  (2) Why should I learn this rather than something 
else?  (3) Is this worth the time and effort it would take to learn it? 
Before I learned to program in Tcl/Tk, I looked into C/C++ and formed the 
following conclusions:  (1) Boring.  (2) No good reason that I can think of.  
(3) NO!  In the event that I ever modify these conclusions and decide to 
learn C/C++, I'm sure I'll be better prepared now that I've learned some 
things about programming in a language that gives a quicker and more 
satisfactory initial return on the student's investment of time and effort. I 
doubt that I'm unique in these respects.

Dave "Pa" McClamrock

On Saturday 05 January 2002 17:40, Jeff Knox wrote:
>   I would just like to say I disagree. I think C/C++ (I suppose maybe
> Java) is a great place to start. The[re] seems to be an attitude that
> everything needs to be extremely dumbed down in order for students to
> understand. Despite what you may believe, not everyone in school is a
> retard :) Put some faith in your students, they may not be geniuses, but
> it doesn[']t take one to learn C/C++ if it[']s taught right.