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

From: Thomas Holubar (scheme at phirho.com)
Date: Fri Feb 12 13:43:26 EST 2010

On 12.02.2010 18:41, wooks wrote:

> We formed a human list in class. Each member was allocated a number.
> I asked them who is (first human-list). They told me.
> I asked them which bit is (rest human-list). They showed me.
> I asked them what is the value of (first human-list). They told me.
> I asked them when (first human-list) is being added to (sum (rest
> human-list)) what value is being passed from (sum (rest human-list)).
> They told me.
> I moved my way down the human list. At every stage they told me what
> constituted (rest human-list) and what the value of (sum (rest human-
> list)) was.
> Is that active enough.

First answer: If they answered all your questions correctly as you say - 
where's the problem? It's just perfect, no? ;-)

Second answer: You use the term 'active' with a rather different meaning 
then I do. I like your exercise and I think it is indeed very useful. 
But the fact that someone can actively do something does not imply that 
he has an active understanding/ability of that same activity.
For the latter to be the case he would need to be able to do it without 
your instructions. They're still on the passive level in your scenario.

In Stephen's last mail (his reply to Matthias) he describes a method 
that might work for your class: repeat, repeat, repeat (with or without 
little variations).

This method won't work for everyone (it likely wouldn't have worked for 
me, for example), but it seems to fit your situation pretty well.

Look at it like this: you can't learn swimming from reading books. 
Neither can you by watching someone swim. And practicing the movements 
in the shower or bathtub doesn't help either.
Yes I know, it sounds ridiculous. But it's true nevertheless. ;-)
And I believe learning to program isn't that different.

Bottom line: There are better and worse swimming teachers. But if for 
whatever reasons there is no time/place to practice swimming there's 
only so much even the best teacher can do.


Posted on the users mailing list.