[Edu-sig] re: Python Programming: An Introduction to ComputerScience

Kirby Urner urnerk at qwest.net
Sat Dec 13 16:09:10 EST 2003

> -----Original Message-----
> From: edu-sig-bounces at python.org [mailto:edu-sig-bounces at python.org] On
> Behalf Of Jeffrey Elkner
> Sent: Saturday, December 13, 2003 12:28 PM
> To: Edu-sig
> Cc: Toby Donaldson
> Subject: Re: [Edu-sig] re: Python Programming: An Introduction to
> ComputerScience
> I completely agree with Toby on this.  I've already managed to make
> Python the CS1 language at Yorktown High, but it hasn't reached beyond
> the hard core geek community.  If we really want to popularize it to a
> broader audience, it needs to fill the space taken by VB (at the high
> school) or what Logo used to do (at the middle school).

I guess I don't see how Logo makes a good case.  It never went anywhere much
beyond middle school.  No Hubble stuff is done in Logo.
I guess my question is, what's being used outside the "hard core geek
community" that CS1 doesn't reach?  VB?  Or is it just that programming
itself is still not a very widespread activity, using any language?

In my view, we need more programming in the mathematics curriculum, which
means recognizing that writing programs is likewise a way of writing
mathematics. Or, more accurately, I'd say both kinds of writing are similar
kinds of symbolic activity which deserve a prime spot in K-12 education.

In the math curriculum, the real competition is not some other language, but
calculators (I guess the TI programming language might count -- but my
impression is more HS math teachers than students actually bother with the
programming part).

Numeracy, the equivalent of literacy with regard to prose and poetry,
involves programming, mathematics, data visualizations, puzzle solving,
logic, simulations, and other such.  Numeracy and literacy connect at many


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