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

From: Matthias Felleisen (matthias at ccs.neu.edu)
Date: Wed Feb 10 09:02:43 EST 2010

On Feb 10, 2010, at 8:46 AM, Shriram Krishnamurthi wrote:

> ... what is so obvious that some might have missed it: the style of programming that the study discusses is not that of HtDP.

It's really a dead horse by now but I exchanged email at the time with the senior author. I checked out his own introductory book from the library and browsed it. 

My conjecture is that there is something to the idea of 'can this student understand an artificial notation' and that everyone on this list will immediately recognize that arithmetic and algebra use an artificial notation. Surprisingly the author did not see this, did not seem to understand that a certain subset of arithmetic/algebra is programming, and that just because someone has trouble with notation shouldn't mean we don't teach this person an important skill. 

Indeed, my conjecture is that when an artificial notation such as arithmetic and algebra becomes executable (and supports 'fun' activities) we can get __around__ such so-called intrinsic problems. I would love to see someone conduct an appropriate experiment. 

-- Matthias

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