[plt-scheme] Re: HTDP - evidently not for everyone.

From: Carl Eastlund (carl.eastlund at gmail.com)
Date: Wed Feb 10 13:22:47 EST 2010

On Wed, Feb 10, 2010 at 1:05 PM, wooks <wookiz at hotmail.com> wrote:
> On Feb 10, 1:46 pm, Shriram Krishnamurthi <s... at cs.brown.edu> wrote:
>> And for that matter, study has shown that some who "can't do X" have a
>> much subtler problem: for instance, dyslexia.  Should we have
>> administered a "does this spelling look right?" test before school and
>> kept them out of reading classes?  (And what if there's a similar
>> phenomenon here?)
> I don't think it is fair to extrapolate the argument to any X.
> The argument is that programming ability is a naturally occurring
> attribute that humans either possess or don't, hence the appropriate
> comparison would be with some other naturally occurring human
> attribute rather than one, like spelling or reading that are skills
> generally acquired through teaching.

It takes a lot more than one study to determine (a) that there is such
a thing as "programming ability", (b) that it is a measurable
quantity, (c) that we know how to reliably measure it, and (d) that it
is a fixed quantity that cannot be improved by ANY means (not just the
means tried so far).

The idea that "programming" is a more "naturally occurring human
attribute" than "reading"... I don't think either of those abilities
are candidates for that title.

> I'm sure there are better examples but the one that springs to mind is
> perhaps riding a bike. If that doesn't fly then I appeal to personal
> experience with my attempt to learing to water ski (completely
> futile).

This is your judgment, though.  Not the water ski instructor's, the
kindergarten teacher's, computer science professor's.  It is not the
teacher's job to give up on you.  It is your decision whether or not
to continue making the attempt.


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