[Edu-sig] CS teacher

Randy Latimer rlatimer@mirage.tjhsst.edu
Mon, 14 Feb 2000 15:28:51 -0500 (EST)

Message from a CS Teacher -
  I'd be happy to try to "sell" good curriculum ideas in languages like
Python or Scheme to other CS teachers in the county I work in.
BUT - Traditionally, like I've said, it's very hard to get most teachers
to take the time to teach something new 
UNLESS they have the equipment, software, and good lesson plans with which
to implement the new ideas.  Teachers also need a strong reason why they
should make the effort in the first place.  Time for training is also an
 If you want to plan a similar curriculum in another language, here's a
brief outline of the classes now:
  1st year CS:  basic i/o, file reading/writing, conditionals, loops,
arrays, structures/classes, arrays of structs/classes, a little recursion
 2nd Years CS (APCS) - data structures, stacks, queues, linked lists,
trees, study of algorithms - like sorting algorithms, study of a large
program development- Case Study, more recursion

Does the choice of language dictate what goes into the curriculum?
probably...the above curriculum grew out of many years of:
 BASIC/FORTRAN (70's) --> Pascal (80's & 90's) --> C++ (late 90's)
LOGO tried to make inroads as a newer, different style, graphics oriented
language in the 80's.  It had a little effect, but seemed to die out.

At this point, it seems to me like Java is the "most popular" choice for
2nd language, probably because it's so similar to C++, does OOP, has
graphics, and you can do web programming.

I don't know much about Python, but Scheme would be a very different
programming style from the traditional.  (Good or bad?? who knows)

Randy Latimer