[Edu-sig] Re: Computer Science Curriculum Grades 7-10

Jeffrey Elkner jeff@elkner.net
08 Oct 2000 19:17:22 +0500

Beginning last year, Yorktown High School in Arlington, Virginia
switched to
 Python as the language for its introductory computer science
courses.  A little
over a year later we have more students taking the class and achieving
success than they were before the switch.

Python is a language ideally suited to teaching people to program.  It
is a
modern, object oriented language which can be used to teach the lastest
programming concepts.  At the same time, it has a beautifully elegant
that greatly reduces the difficulties in teaching programming concepts.

Even more wonderful, it is an interpreted language with a development
environment that allows beginners immediate feedback from the
This encourages the use of "discovery" approaches to learning.
Functions and modules can be added and explored during run time.

Python is freely available on almost any platform you can think of (we
use Linux),
 and can be downloaded at:


There is also a discussion group which is beginning to address the
of using Python as a teaching language.

jeff elkner
yorktown high school
arlington, va

> I want to build the enrollment in my Computer Science and AP Computer
> Science classes, and am wondering what you are teaching or offering for
> "computer science" type classes for 7-10th graders.  Does anyone offer
> classes before Computer Science and AP Computer Science?  What classes are
> you teaching?  What material are you covering?
> Is anyone offering a "scripting" language course (HTML, JavaScript, etc)?
> I am also curious if your school district is doing anything in the K-6
> grades to build interest in programming.  
> Is any school district still teaching LOGO? If so what grade level and what
> are you covering.
> Thanks for your reply.
> Dave
> Dave Clausen
> La Canada High School
> 4463 Oak Grove Drive
> La Canada, CA 91011