[Edu-sig] Introductory high school programming class - Python or TeachScheme

Joseph Ehlers ehlersjp at msn.com
Wed May 5 21:48:25 EDT 2004

I'm trying to propose an introductory computer programming class for high school students.  I do not have a programming background so I will be learning the language just like the students.  Through my research I came across Python.  It sounds great - easy to learn, teaches thinking skills, and is fun.  I was set to go with Python then I came across the TeachScheme project which also sounds great - it too is easy to learn, teaches thinking skills and comes with lots of curriculum.  I have a few questions and I'm hoping this group can shed some light on this issue.

1.  Is one better than the other (Python  vs. TeachScheme) to teach high school novices programming skills, thinking skills, language, and keeping their attention so I can then have an audience for a second, more advanced programming class?  

2.  I've looked at "How to Think Like a Computer Scientist", it looks very doable for a novice and "Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner" (Premier Press) looks like a lot of fun.  Is  there any other curriculum for high school students out there?

3.  Is it possible to teach a semester of TeachScheme and a semester of Python or is that overkill on the basics and not doing justice to either program?

I appreciate your assistance.
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