[Edu-sig] Using objects early was Procedural front end for Zelle's graphics.py

Andre Roberge andre.roberge at gmail.com
Thu Feb 8 03:46:17 CET 2007

On 2/7/07, kirby urner <kirby.urner at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 2/7/07, David Reed <dreed at capital.edu> wrote:
> Using Python to slog through procedural programming for a semester
> rather than using it as scaffolding to develop some insights into OOP,
> including among beginners, is a waste of a good language and a waste
> of students' time.  I'd be ashamed to be associated with any such
> curriculum.  I hope this practice proves short lived.  We're in a dark age
> right now.  Lots of crappola.

I disagree.  Calculus is an essential tool for Physics.  Yet, teaching
an introductory calculus-based Physics course for non
physicists/engineers would be totally wrong.  Instead, people teach
algebra-based introductory physics courses - I have taught both.

Programming is a tool used in studying computer science - just like
math is a tool useful in the study of Physics.  OOP is a modern tool
used in studying computer science; just like vector-based calculus is
a modern tool used in studying Physics.

Choosing to use a simple tool (procedural programming, supplemented by
relevant usage of "dot notation" with little if any mention of
object/classes) so that more applications of computer science,
including graphics, can be covered is most likely more appropriate.

You wrote: "we're in a dark age right now".  Let me agree and take
this statement to the extreme.  Forget about OOP.  We need to start
teaching kids about qubits, and the bra and ket notation.  This is
where the future lies, with quantum computing and quantum
cryptography.  Furthermore, the notation is *a lot* simpler than the
"rib" syntax which you are so fond of, as long as you only deal with
finite dimensional spaces.    Yet, I would not argue that this would
be appropriate for a CS0 course.

Students taking a CS0 course have to be able to write simple programs,
in various areas (including graphics).  There's nothing wrong in
teaching procedurally based programming at that level.  What is
important is to make them *think* ... not to dazzle them with the
latest tool.


> Kirby
> _______________________________________________
> Edu-sig mailing list
> Edu-sig at python.org
> http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/edu-sig

More information about the Edu-sig mailing list