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

On Sat, 14 Jul 2001, Michael Viron wrote:
> >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. 
> >
> Actually, programming is a theoretical thing --
> otherwise Universities

Well, on one hand we hand the design of algorithms and technics
for such task like: divide and conquer or incremental programming,...
Anyway algorithm is always expressed in a language, even if 
it's seudocode or natural language, which in these case is 
a kind of imperative language.

> would not have a "Programming Languages" (or similar) course which focuses
> heavily on the theory behind various programming languages. 

Nobody will understand what an object is, till a couple of objects
are described in Smaltalk, Ada or Python,... the same with 
'exceptions' or 'variable assignment'... You can focus only
in the set of available operations and concept without writting
ever a large programm, but I guess this is boring and pointless.

> This is
> because it is much easier to "learn" a new language if you have a basic
> understanding of the key "abstract" concepts that are common between
> languages.  Nor would CS / CIS degree plans include more "theoretical"
> courses (such as Networking, Database Systems, Operating Systems, and so

And on the other hand, well, when explaining such courses you explain
examples of design
of decission for every subject: like Novell, satellite network,
Ethernet, hierarchical data bases, ... You can't fully explain
OSI model if you ellude mentioning that Ethernet deals with the 
lower levels and TCP is a transport level thing.
In computer science, theoretical is based in very specific things,
if you think about it, carefully.
To put it short, the examples are what make the theory, the theory
is just a classification of the "examples". 

> forth) than programming courses, if theory wasn't important.