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

From: wooks (wookiz at hotmail.com)
Date: Fri Feb 12 08:42:56 EST 2010

On Feb 12, 12:10 pm, Noel Welsh <noelwe... at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 12, 2010 at 11:25 AM, wooks <woo... at hotmail.com> wrote:
> > Insofar as there is a claim that everyone can be taught to program - a
> > single counterexample  is sufficient to refute that.
> Sure. I think the claim might be better specified as "everyone can be
> taught to program, provided sufficient resources are spent".

See below.

> > If anybody HTDPer (expert or not) is willing to share their experience
> > or offer suggestions to overcome the specific problems I have
> > mentioned and help these students to pass, I'm all ears.
> I don't have much experience teaching undergrad programming.

You're subliminally thinking of people who have been academically
filtered which is not what I am dealing with.

> That
> said, my suggestion is to drill the heck out of them. If you show them
> how to add up the elements of a list, can they then
> multiply/divide/subtract the elements of a list? Can they then
> string-append the elements of a list of strings? These are tiny
> variations on the same problem; hopefully they can make these tiny
> leaps. I would also demand then follow the recipe. Get them used to
> the idea that this is like following a recipe -- no thought required.

I don't know if you read my earlier posts. I'm satisfied I have posted
enough to claim to have tried all that. I've lost count of the number
of times I have said and shown how much of a program can be written
just from knowing the data structure. I have repeated whole lectures
when it is evident they have not grasped an important point.

Let me repeat the essence of what I am seeing.

My students understand sufficiently what is shown in class but cannot
translate that to the  writing a program (or even a template)
unaided.  They also cannot cope with a task that is only a slight
variation from what they have seen and understood in class - like for
example write count list after being shown and understood how to write
sum list.

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