Teaching python (programming) to children
montanaro at tttech.com
Mon Nov 5 17:49:52 CET 2001
Hung> I have my doubts about Python being the first programming language
Hung> to teach. I see all too many newbies running into the problem of
Hung> namespaces. How do you explain to them that "from xyz import *" is
Hung> a bad thing, if they don't even understand what's going on behind
Hung> the scene? Also, how in the world can beginners understand what a
Hung> hash table mean? Are we going to tell them something like: "oh
Hung> well, think of Python dictionary as a magic black box, you'll
Hung> understand it later when you take a course in C/C++"?
I think the assumption is that you don't give them everything at once, and
you can simply avoid teaching them the "bad" stuff like "from m import *".
Regarding dictionaries, I would tell them, "Think of a Python dictionary as
a regular dictionary. You look up a 'word' and it gives you the
'definition' of that word." The correspondence is good enough to get them
going I think.
Skip Montanaro (skip at pobox.com)
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