[racket] "The Disadvantages of High School Programming"

From: Horace Dynamite (horace.dynamite at googlemail.com)
Date: Tue Jun 8 17:27:30 EDT 2010

On Tue, Jun 8, 2010 at 10:05 PM, Benjamin L. Russell
<DekuDekuplex at yahoo.com> wrote:
> There is an interesting, if somewhat dated (posted on October 9, 2008),
> article, entitled "The Disadvantages of High School Programming" [1]
> (see
> http://compsci.ca/blog/the-disadvantages-of-high-school-programming/)

I attend high school, and have the same sentiments as Roman. Luckily I
discovered HtDP independently. The text book we're given (published by
the AQA examining board in the UK) uses Pascal as its demonstration
language. And my teacher uses Visual Basic as his demonstration
language. This gets weird fast for me. Also, the text mostly discusses
architecture (two's complement, etc & number representation) and data
structures having spent ages explaining Pascals feature list. Most of
this only helped to confuse me initially. I'd rather have been taught
how to think about problems at first. I've since dropped the course
incidentally, and feel I'll be much better prepared when (if) I get
into University this year than my peers having discovered HtDP.

> ... having more difficulty in an
> introductory computer science course taught in Scheme than students with
> no computer science background whatsoever in high school.

I had to reread the first 8 sections of HtDP because of my previous
misconceptions in my computing high school course. I thought that the
design recipes were ridiculous!

> Does anybody else have any ideas on how to deal with the problem
> outlined in the article?

I think the PLT group have addressed the problems outlined in the
article. The new problem is make more high school aware of it I
suppose. I told my teacher about HtDP, but he never mentioned it to me
afterwards. As a student, I can't make an impression on my teacher,
its the people my teacher can respect in the academic community that
need to start shouting.


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