[Edu-sig] Look for opportunities and avoid bogging down in differences...

Jeffrey Elkner jeff at elkner.net
Sat Apr 22 16:46:12 CEST 2006

I'm not sure what to make of all the discussion on the list lately.  Is it a hopefull sign of motion toward real gains developing tools for Python in Computer Science education, or is it just a whole lot of bluster which will soon blow away folks interested in actually getting something done? It seems to me that we should seek the broadest possible unity, find collaboration possibilities where they exist, understand that there will never be *one solution*, and respectfully permit folks with a different approach to do their own thing without feeling compelled to convince them they are wrong.  Then perhaps we could use the tools at our disposal to make a real impact on the lives of young learners.

My interest here is very personal.  I want to become a more effective teacher and to better serve the students who enter my classroom.  I'm not really interested in entertaining the notion that perhaps there shouldn't be a classroom, and that everything I'm doing is outdated and should be abandoned in favor of some other approach to learning.  It does not bother me in the least that others may be exploring such things, but if that is the main focus of this list then I really don't belong on it.

Anyone out there interested in mentoring high school age students with Python projects?  André Roberge has kindly offered to work with some of my students on GASP (a livewires rewrite using pygame).  His was the only response to my earlier request for mentors, and the only thing good to come to me recently from being on this list (thanks, André!).  I would love to be involved as "on-site customer" for a new Squeak-like environment for Python.  It would be great if folks with the required skills could answer Guido's call to take up that project.  I would be more than happy to provide student testers to work with the developers testing the software, and to work writing curriculum (for those interested in curriculum ;-) using the new system.

jeff elkner
yorktown high school
arlington, va
jeff at elkner.net

>Let me just add that *this* is an example of why I am going to quickly
>extract myself from this discussion. There are radically opposing
>views of education, and it very quickly gets political. I can't read
>up on all the stuff and I can't trust one side to be "right" just
>because they make the last post. I'm interested in Python software.
>I'm not interested in taking sides in a political discussion.

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