[Edu-sig] Python in Secondary Schools

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Fri Jul 13 08:07:59 CEST 2007

On 7/13/07, Sven Forum <svenforum at gmail.com> wrote:
> Yup,
> I'm a student at the Erasmus High School in Brussels.
> In about 1 year I'm going to graduate as a teacher in mathematics, history
> and informatics.
> I 'll give math and history to children between 12 and 15 years old and
> informatics to those between 14 and 18(+) years old.

Hi Sven --

Greetings from Vilnius, Lithuania, from where I am currently following
edu-sig from my hotel room.

I hope as you cast about for interesting content for your informatics
students, you will keep in mind the plight of your math students,
already faced with plenty of content, but without Python to help
them master it.

In the USA, most schools erect an artificial wall between mathematics
and any discipline involving computer programming.  To question this
wall is considered heresy.  One is branded a radical for even calling
attention to its existence.

Instead of using the Python or any other kid-friendly language to
develop ideas about rational and complex numbers, vectors,
sets, primes versus composites, important algorithms of mathematics,
our children are enslaved to a dark ages regime that permits only
calculators, probably by Texas Instruments.

Programming is considered irrelevant to mathematics learning.
Open source software is scarcely whispered about.

The use of Python or other programming languages is either strictly
forbidden or strongly discouraged within primary and secondary
school mathematics classes.

In contrast, many of the state mandated text books devote page
after page to the skill of calculator use.  Free languages are not
mentioned  (someday, I hope these will be exhibited in a museum,
as testament to the thralldom and intellectual squalor we endured,
even into the 21st century).

Yes, this is a cruel and repressive system and is retarding the USA's
future economic viability and lowering our living standards across the

An alien and anti-democratic spirit has infected our land.  Its agenda
is to dumb us down, keep us compliant and manipulable, because
our people will not be empowered to use the technologies that
surround them.

Rather, they are to remain passive consumers, dependent on others,
obese inhabitants of a Fast Food Nation (not at all like the "land of
the brave, home of the free"), like those pathetic Eloi in 'The Time
Machine' by H.G. Wells.

See the movie 'Idiocracy' if you want a glimpse of our likely future
under this dark ages dictatorship of the so-called "doctors of
philosophy" (an ironic joke I realize).

May you have better luck in Belgium fighting the entrenched monied
interests that repress children and keep our culture relatively
computer illiterate.

from Vilnius
(just a few blocks from the "KGB museum")

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