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Re: [seul-edu] Language to teach 10 year olds

algaba@gmx.net said:
>  Here I have to disagree. Programming is a practical thing, not
> a theoretical thing, like walking. Children learn walking by
> trying to walk, till they don't try they don't learn. 

I agree that a purely abstract course without even an element of practical
programming would be a bad thing, even at university.

I further agree that for children at that stage of development, who are far
less capable of formal operation than undergrads, a higher practical content
is appropriate.

But it's not important or necessarily even beneficial for the language used
in the course to be a language which is in common use in industry this decade.

> Even if you teach "abstract" programming concepts you're  learning
> languages, maybe, a mix-mash of them, anyway,  for a 10 years old, the
> key is not to learn programming but to acquire some skills and habits
> that programming has and that programming can teach them. 

That's also fair enough - and it means you don't fall into the 'want to
produce programmers' category. In fact you don't fall into either of the two
categories I mentioned.

> To teach "abstract programming" would be pretty dumb, IMO.  

Not if your primary goal is to produce a programmer, rather than just to 
encourage development of logic and keyboard skills, and familiarity with a 
computer-orientated environment.

Teach abstract programming and you can make a programmer. Teach this year's
fashionable language and you can make someone capable of churning out O(n^3)
algorithms in that language without any conception of what they're doing

If your goal is to produce programmers, the language used doesn't really 
matter, and teach abstract programming is useful.

If your goal is in fact the latter stated objective of developing
familiarity and operational skills, then the language used still doesn't
matter, but you should be giving a fairly practical course.