[plt-scheme] you have a tough road ahead of you ; ; ; was Re: from hell to paradise

From: Marco Morazan (morazanm at gmail.com)
Date: Wed Feb 18 07:10:49 EST 2009

> I asked what we did wrong, how we could do it differently, and what
> should be changed to make it work and what we found was that it would
> be impossible to make it work for the following reasons:
> 1. It required effort on nights and weekends and it is not normal to
> take effort on nights and weekends.
> 2. It added no visible value to their daily work.
> 3. It was not difficult enough (they were too smart).
> Talking more to folks about this, I found that the going in position was:
> 1. If I don't learn it on the job; I won't learn it at all.
> 2. I want to learn about tasks like how to drop a control onto a form
> or deploy an ear; but not how to think.
> 3. I don't have much more to learn; I am already awesome.

What you did wrong? I smile fondly, because I will give you an answer
inspired on a conversation (actually more of tongue lashing given to
my student partner) with Dijkstra back in 1996. Your target audience
was a bunch of brain damaged people whom can not be helped by anything
in FP or in HtDP (they are not the same). It is too late for them!

The late Dijkstra tended to use a very confrontational style (which I
learned to appreciate), but I am not trying to be confrontatioanl here
(nor insulting). Nonetheless, the point that Dijkstra was trying to
make in 1996 is the same I am trying to make. I do believe that you
were trying to do something good, but your audience was clearly not
going to listen no matter how the material was presented. Dijkstra
considered those that do not want to learn and who refuse to think (or
learn to think) brain damaged. This was especially true for him when
it came to designing programs.

Perhaps, this is one reason the authors of HtDP targetted students.
Some students may not be already calcified -- if I may borrow a phrase
from Prabhakar.




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