[plt-scheme] Re: Novice needs help writing function

From: Matt Jadud (jadudm at gmail.com)
Date: Thu Jan 3 21:21:51 EST 2008

On Jan 3, 2008 8:45 PM, Benjamin L. Russell <dekudekuplex at yahoo.com> wrote:
> that the dialog style of that text was eminently
> suited to teaching recursion to a beginner.
> Since HtDP is an expansion of that book, _The Little
> Schemer_ may be useful as a prequel.  After that,
> another suggestion could be _The Seasoned Schemer_.
> -- Benjamin, co-liberal arts student

With all due respect to you and the authors on this list, I would
never want to teach an introductory class where  "The Little Schemer"
was my students' first exposure to thinking about programming. It
would work for far too few of them, both stylistically and in terms of
content. Or, perhaps it just wouldn't work for me, personally, in my

I have enjoyed watching the evolution of HtDP (through the addition of
new extended exercises, etc.), and have had very good success using it
in the classroom. But that is because it was developed in conjunction
with tools (DrScheme, the Stepper, and the "Student" languages) with a
specific purpose in mind---and that purpose is clear to me as an
instructor. Having a clear understanding of the intentions of the
authors of the tools and text make it a good deal easier to integrate
those tools into my own personal practice.

Matthias might be able (willing?) to reflect/relate how The Little
Lisper/Schemer developed, and the differences between those texts  and
HtDP (w.r.t. the purposes they were intended to serve, from his point
of view). Now that I think about it, I suppose "Structure and
Interpretation of the Computer Science Curriculum" was some of that
reflection[1]. Although... it doesn't mention the Little
LISPer/Schemer at all. They're obviously very different texts, so I'm
curious about their relationship, if there is one to be noted at all.


[1] http://www.ccs.neu.edu/scheme/pubs/jfp2004-fffk.pdf

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