[Edu-sig] Re: Python at Wesleyan

Kirby Urner urnerk@qwest.net
Thu, 25 Jul 2002 17:26:35 -0700

At 07:59 PM 7/25/2002 -0400, Mitchell L Model wrote:
>Just joined list and haven't taken the time to read the archives yet, so 
>this is a silly post, but I thought it worth putting out there that I will be
>teaching an Introduction to Programming for non-computer science majors at
>Wesleyan University this fall, having just taken a position there as a 
>professor.  I've convinced the other Computer Science faculty involved to
>abandon their

I applaud your enthusiasm for Python, which is a great language for
beginners, as well as more advanced programmers.

I think a central question for educators is "Python plus what else?"
Because, even if Python is eminently teachable, we always want to
provide experiences and familiarity with multiple languages.

A course which produced students who mostly turned up their nose
re other languages and said "no thanks, just Python for me" will
have failed, IMO (especially considering the fact that Python is
written in C, Jython in Java).  Python should be used as a way to
deepen appreciation for concepts and languages across the board.

Python is so good partly because it provides familiarity with
concepts that'll come up again and again, no matter what tools
you're using.