Teaching python (programming) to children

Peter Hansen peter at engcorp.com
Sun Nov 11 23:42:55 CET 2001

Sheila King wrote:
> Laura Creighton <lac at strakt.com> wrote:
> :This means that an educational policy has to be crafted so that
> :the bottom members of the profession can use it effectively to
> :educate.
> I'm afraid that I simply, fundamentally disagree with your idea of
> crafting an educational policy that can protect the idiot teachers from
> themselves.
> For one thing, you seem to think that teaching is a science, where we
> can decide upon "the best policy" and then all use it with good results.
> But this is not the case. Teaching is an art, and what works well as a
> method in some situations and with some students, is not the best method
> in other situations with other students.
[snip thoughtful discussion points]

Perhaps the pragmatic Python philosophy could apply to this
issue as well.  Teaching, as with many other things such as 
software engineering, is neither purely science nor purely art;
it's both!

Having no official policy of any kind would, and I'm sure
does where this situation holds, lead to chaos.  The 
"idiot teachers"/"bottom members of the profession" mentioned
above need some kind of guidance, by definition, or they
will do more damage than good.

Having a strict official policy, on the other hand, will
just as certainly lead to stagnation, and a situation where
the stellar teachers/top members of the profession will
feel too restricted to realize their full potential and that
of their students.

-*always*-avoid-extremes-ly and my-mother-was-a-teacher-ly yr's,
Peter Hansen, P.Eng.
peter at engcorp.com

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