[Edu-sig] Hello from a CS Teacher

Randy Latimer rlatimer@mirage.tjhsst.edu
Fri, 11 Feb 2000 21:26:53 -0500 (EST)

  From my experience here in Fairfax County, VA, it's very difficult 
to get the high school CS teachers to support a language other than 
the one currently in use by the APCS board.  The best that I've been
able to do is to introduce a second language at the end of the
school year, and let some of the "advanced" students work on it.
BUt by that time, there's usually little interest by the students
in taking on another language, unless it's one with alot of "press"
such as Java.
  I guess trying to introduce students to programming earlier than
high school is alot like the use of Logo in the 80's (I still have
all the old texts). There's a book called Mindstorms that proposes
teaching Logo early on.
  It's a tough process trying to get teachers to use a new 
curriculum.  You need a strong set of materials and good teacher
training and something that tells the teachers that there's 
a benefit for them to take the time to learn a "new" way.
  Anyway, I think this is a great discussion.

On Fri, 11 Feb 2000, Dustin James Mitchell wrote:

> Oh my, you bring up a point that hasn't been raised yet.  That is, how do
> we try to teach Python when the APs are in C++?  It seems we'd have little
> hope of changing the AP's when they've only so recently switched to C++,
> and since C++ has a vocal backing in the business community.
> Perhaps, then, for the time being, we need to target Python in the earlier
> grades and construct a gentle changeover to C++ in the AP courses?  What
> are our options here?
> Dustin
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> |                         Dustin Mitchell                )O(        |
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