[Edu-sig] Age groups

Ivan Van Laningham ivanlan@callware.com
Fri, 04 Feb 2000 16:10:02 -0700

Hi All--

Steve Morris wrote:


> A quick synopsis is that left brain people are described as rational
> and pedantic with right brained people being intuitive and artistic.
> As I said...  a major simplification.

``Pedantic'' is probably not a word that ought to be used in this

I've always found that yes, you can sort of divide people into these two
camps, but there's lots of crossover and bleed-through.  Far more than
people used to think, and lots more than I ever expected.

As for me, I'm still struggling to see the difference between science
and art.  So far, I'm with Gregory Bateson on this.  Let me cite the
relevant part of a conversation with his ex-wife, Margaret Mead:

Bateson:  ``I'm not sure if I know the difference between science and
Mead:  ``That's all right, Gregory.  I do.''

(Coevolution Quarterly #10)

And sometimes I wonder if the borderland between the two isn't the land
of Engineering, or at least Craftspersonship.  (What a klunky word!  But
you get the idea.)

> I find the suggestion interesting that experienced programmers often
> have more difficulties with objects than beginners. That isn't my
> personal experience but I have heard it said many times.

This actually wouldn't surprise me, because good objects are works of

> BTW this topic may seem a little off point except that we need to
> teach people with different learning strategies. There is a tendancy
> of programmer types to use left brain teaching techniques and thus
> lose half their audience out of the gate. Anyone who has ever sat in
> front of a room full of young students knows that there are as many
> learning strategies as there are students. CP4E needs to be sensitive
> to this or it will be one more also ran strategy.

I concur.  And it's not enough being sensitive, either.  That "other
half of the audience" might have some blinding insights that CP4E can't
do without.

<which-way-to-the-borderland?>-ly y'rs,
Ivan Van Laningham
Callware Technologies, Inc.
Army Signal Corps:  Cu Chi, Class of '70
Author:  Teach Yourself Python in 24 Hours