[Edu-sig] Getting it going

Xenophanes tgabriel@bellsouth.net
Thu, 03 Feb 2000 12:04:26 -0500


The point of your letter is exactly what this group should be about. As
activists for the core idea of Python, I think we should be trying to
change the direction schools are taking in programming. The next step
from helping someone who "does not get" C++ is to visit the education
officials with some well thought out planned arguments about how they
can make programming more available to thier students. I realize that
institutions have built in prejudices and when they install systems to
teach things like C++ or Microsoft Word, or whatever, changing the
system can be quite daunting. That is where a group like this can come
in handy.

From the top down the Python organization needs to be activist minded as
much as possible. It needs to pursue any advantage it can to getting
into the education community wherever it is possible to do so. If that
means people who know Python going to a school on a volunteer basis and
teaching after hours, ok. Try to do so. If that means pressuring school
departments to modernize their approach, then try to do so.

To prompt change in the status quo, we have to pursue every opportunity
to illustrate our program. Programming should be ubiquitous. Python
makes it easy to become so. Everyone should have the opportunity to at
least know that self determination in the operation of information
devices is possible. Everyone might not be interested in pursuing that
end, but they all should at least have the opportunity. I think that is
what this group is all about.

My own goal is to eventually start a school where kids come in several
times/hours a week and "play" with programming on computers using Python
and its game playing education role. I am not prepared yet to implement
this goal, but it is something I am working toward.