Teaching python (programming) to children

Paul Rubin phr-n2001d at nightsong.com
Sat Nov 10 02:46:44 CET 2001


"Arthur Siegel" <ajs at ix.netcom.com> writes:
> Again, IMO - the acceptance of programming instruction incorporated
> somehow into core curricula is up against enough - without making
> its acceptance dependent on the acceptance of some particular educational 
> theory/philosophy.
> 
> Let's accept that learning math, for example, is a good thing, and 
> demonstrate an enhanced curricula incorporating some programming
> that will accelerate and deepen that process. "The cognitive skill of
> diagnosing and correcting errors" might in fact be more fundamental
> (and important) than understanding math concepts - who am I to 
> argue with the MindStorms crowd. I will tell you that to the untrained
> ear, it sounds like horeshit. 

In the Mindstorms situation, we're talking about very young kids, like
age 6-8 or so.  Normally nobody thinks of kids that young as needing
"programming instruction" or training in software development.  Here's
an article from Papert's website about it called "Tomorrow's
Classrooms", that gives a sense of what he wanted to accomplish:

   http://www.papert.org/articles/TomorrowsClassrooms.html

Basically he was trying to follow up the ideas of Jean Piaget, the
child development researcher.  Perhaps the ideas are horseshit, but
Time Magazine apparently didn't think so--it printed Papert's article
on Piaget in its special issue on "The Century's Greatest Minds".



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