[Edu-sig] AP Computer Science

A. Jorge Garcia calcpage at aol.com
Sun Nov 7 00:47:10 CET 2010

Unfortunately, many High School teachers act like a bunch of lemmings 
worried about results and all do the same thing every year in lock step 
- one of these time honored traditions being prepping for or teaching 
to the test.  This will continue regardless of the delivery language.  
I've been teaching AP Computer Science since it started in 1984 using 
Pascal.  The same thing went on with Pascal, C++ and Java.

The focus of the AP Computer Science course right now is Object 
Oriented Programming (OOP).  We teach these students about classes, 
methods and objects; constructors, accessors, mutators and instance 
fields.  We emphasize the 4 pillars of OOP: encapsulation, abstraction, 
inheritance and polymorphism.

I don't teach to the test, never have and never will.  However, I do 
give them samples of MCQs and FRQs they are expected to master through 
out the year.  I do this in AP Computer Science A/AB, AP Calculus AB/BC 
and AP Physics C Mech/E&M.

I have heard rumors about a move from Java to Python, but I don't think 
its more than a rumor at this point!

A. Jorge Garcia

Teacher & Professor
Applied Mathematics, Physics & Computer Science
Baldwin Senior High School & Nassau Community College

-----Original Message-----
From: Zac Miller <zmiller at gsc.edu>
To: edu-sig at python.org <edu-sig at python.org>
Sent: Sat, Nov 6, 2010 7:25 pm
Subject: [Edu-sig] AP Computer Science

Today I attended a meeting of the Georgia chapter of the Computer 
Science Teachers Association.  Most of the focus was on how to better 
teach the AP Computer Science exam and Java but I did learn a few 
things at the meeting.  Are any of the K12 educators here that are 
using Python also teaching AP Computer Science?

>From speaking with the people at the meeting I got the idea that the 
AP Computer Science test would eventually transition to Python.  Does 
anyone know more about this?

Also, from their descriptions of teaching the AP class it seemed like 
the is focus is mainly on preparing for the test...do you think that 
the AP course using Python would be a good thing or a bad thing for 
educators using Python?  I think I prefer keeping my focus on producing 
great Python programmers instead of on an exam.

Interested in any opinions out there.

-Zac Miller

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