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

From: Todd O'Bryan (toddobryan at gmail.com)
Date: Wed Feb 10 14:25:56 EST 2010

One thing that I've been focusing on recently is the mantra that
schools that have had success with historically low-performing groups
all seem to share: Assess early, often, and respond to the

The math teacher next to me is incessant--ask her about the individual
ability of any student in her class and she can tell you what they
know, what they kind of know, and what they don't know, and she can do
this because she is constantly checking. She has developed good
questions that really determine whether students "get" a particular
concept. For example, she can give a student a three-question quiz
about exponents and, because she's picked the questions very
carefully, can tell you with high confidence what that student does
and doesn't know.

She was also an English teacher and took some CS, and she admits that
it's much easier to do this kind of thing in math than other subjects,
but I think it's worth the time to try to identify what kinds of
questions we can use to figure out which students are ready to move
on, which need more help, and which ones seem to have spent the last
three weeks watching YouTube videos while we were desperately trying
to teach them.

I'm not convinced that everyone can't learn to program at a basic
level, but in order to do that, you need good ways to diagnose which
ones need more intervention.


On Wed, Feb 10, 2010 at 1:50 PM, Raoul Duke <raould at gmail.com> wrote:
>> it. Then I ask them to define a time data structure and write
>> something like time=? and some of them can't write the template (none
>> of them managed to write the program). There is a complete inability
>> to see the similarity between the way the different data structures
>> they have been shown have been manipulated. After about 80 hours of
> i'm curious about this.
> what it tells me is that to reach those folks, one has to go "further"
> and explicitly demonstrate the inventive behaviour a few times, all
> the while explicitly saying "i am now demonstrating how to apply what
> we've seen in a new situation".
> in other words: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_to_Solve_It
> :-)
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