[Edu-sig] starting out ...

Matthias Felleisen matthias@rice.edu
Wed, 2 Feb 2000 18:26:33 -0600 (CST)

Ladies and gentlemen -- this list is not off to a good start.  Please be
more optimistic!

I am the leader of the TeachScheme! project. Our goal is similar to that of
"Programming for Everyone" -- get programming into the hands of many more
people. Our specific goal is to bring computing and programming into the
core of the liberal arts curriculum of high schools and to enrich
mathematics education. Think of it as Logo extended to the upper levels of
school. From there we hope to jump start more. 

When we started five years ago, we faced similar questions. We spent a lot
of time studying
 - what the average student knows 
 - how C++ fails high school students of all ability levels 
   (you must be able to articulate this point effectively!)
 - what teachers need to translate our knowledge into the classroom
 - how to attracte and (re)train teachers	 
   (there are highly committed individuals out there who earn far less than
   any of us but who dedicate themselves and are as capable as we are). 
Then we carefully built the program: the languages (yes, you will need more
than one), the environment (no, a professional IDE or emacs aren't enough),
the curriculum, the workshops (you need to use the teachers who are out
there; it's all you got; don't yell at them), the follow-up support (web
pages, mailing lists, etc), and a few more things that I am forgetting now. 

If you wish to inspect the details in person, see 


The Web tree contains only the positive results, not the negative ones, but
it's a start if you wish to understand how we got to train our first 100

It takes time, patience, energy, and a lot of it. But the goal of wrestling
the high school teaching away from the C++ establishment is worthwhile.

Heads up -- Matthias Felleisen