[Edu-sig] Politics and Python in Education (was Re: Python in Secondary Schools)

Anna Ravenscroft annaraven at gmail.com
Tue Jul 17 23:25:10 CEST 2007

On 7/17/07, Paul D. Fernhout <pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com> wrote:

> Essentially, what seems to me to be proposed here is making edusig a
> discussion group for "How or why to use Python (as is) for use in the
> standard K-12 classroom to meet narrowly defined instructional
> objectives?".

I'd expand that to: "how or why to use Python in standard k-12 and
college classrooms"

> The short answer to that implicit question is, as Kirby
> implies, that there is essentially no role for Python in the standard
> mainstream K-12 classroom (I'd frame it as it's simply too dangerous a
> concept :-). Or, as someone else suggests, the other answer to that
> implicit question is, learn "Java" if you want a strategic plan because
> you can use it to get A.P. credit and save money in college. But those
> are not good answers for people who want kids to be empowered, since the
> mainstream classroom is mostly not about empowering kids, just like Java
> (unlike Python or other dynamic languages like Smalltalk or Lisp or
> Ruby) is mostly not about empowering programmers.

Kirby has one answer to whether it's possible. Other people have other
answers. This isn't the place to get long discussions about it over
and over and over and over again. Some of us are tired of hearing
about it in nearly every thread. (It's one of the reasons I've not
bothered reading edu-sig in months - I don't have time for the
extraneous stuph.)

I loved the recent threads on scaffolding and on what are appropriate
questions and expectations for students who've had a certain amount of
python. I would have hated to see them hijacked into political

> Still, I could essentially see Guido's point, because some conventional
> school staff who otherwise like Python may face issues posting to a list
> talking about the future of education (which may appear to threaten
> their job), so perhaps ultimately a solution would be to have one list
> for "python in mainstream education" and another list for "python for
> alternative or future education".

Or how about one list on "educational politics" and one on python in
education. Oh wait - there ARE already lists on educational
politics... how about those who want to discuss that, go to those
lists and discuss it there?! And use this list to specifically discuss
python in education?

At least could we agree to properly lable/relable any threads or
tangents as [POLITICS] so those who want to discuss the nittygritty
how-to can filter out the political stuph? And those interested in the
political stuff can agree to NOT interpose it into threads that aren't
about that?

It is fate, but call it Italy if it pleases you, Vicar!

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