[plt-scheme] Re: Poacher turned gamekeeper

From: wooks (wookiz at hotmail.com)
Date: Mon Nov 9 19:19:51 EST 2009

On Nov 9, 5:02 pm, Matthias Felleisen <matth... at ccs.neu.edu> wrote:
> On Nov 9, 2009, at 10:43 AM, Stephen Bloch wrote:
> >> 3. Assuming that the majority can't solve it, proceed with 'in  
> >> decent colleges, this kind of stuff is taught in the first course.'
> > Or you could NOT open with antagonism and NOT run down the students'  
> > previous teachers and background.  Instead, I would say "for those  
> > of you who have done some programming before, we'll be doing it a  
> > little differently; this approach may seem weird to you at first,  
> > but in my experience, it helps you produce correct, working programs  
> > faster.  Approach it with an open mind, and you can combine the best  
> > of both approaches."  You'll have to decide, based on your group of  
> > students, whether it'll work better to start by showing them how  
> > much they don't know.
> Just drop the phrase "in decent colleges ..." but conduct the  
> experiment anyway. Do tell them that good programmers can solve these  
> questions easily and you will teach them how and more about systematic  
> programmers.
> I repeatedly get students who think that their bad grades in an HtDP  
> course are due to the odd choice of language. Over 10+ years, I have  
> easily overcome strong versions of such opinions with "no problem.  
> What language would you like to use? I'll give you an A for the course  
> if you can solve this problem ..." A variation is to do it at the  
> beginning and to let people go who can solve such things (give them  
> the option). In my 10+ years, I have had ONE student who solved the  
> problem in the alotted 30 mins, indeed, he needed much less time and  
> he didn't do it in anything modern: he did it in C. He had 15 years of  
> experience and no contact to FP. BUT he was a good programmer and he  
> wanted to take my course anyway.

They are all supposed to be newbies although I imagine some of them
may have had some exposure and will want to know why they are not
learning Java. That will probably be their second course anyway.

They are a captive audience. They do not have the option of dropping
the course.

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