Teaching python (programming) to children

Wesley J. Chun wesc at yahoo.com
Fri Nov 9 20:50:49 CET 2001


Renaming this fork off the thread to:

"Teaching Python (programming) to Teachers"

Kids are young, flexible, and easily impressioned, so teaching
kids isn't the only topic involved with this subject.  In order
to make kids' learning effective, it must also come with the
supporting infrastructure, meaning teachers and courseroom
materials.

We must first teach the teachers!  They will be the ones who are
passing on this knowledge to our children, and so that should be
the first step.  We cannot take it for granted that all teachers
are like Jeff E., Sheila K., or Tim W.  :-)  If we can achieve
this, that will facilitate learning on a more effective level.
I wonder if there are any such technology training requirements
for those going after teaching credentials in a math/science
discipline.  Anyone know?

Anyway, I have proposed a continuing education course for teachers
which has a goal of teaching teachers the basics of programming
(using Python of course) to those who have little or no background
in programming at all.  I made this pitch to UC Santa Cruz out on
the California central coast and at this time, is currently under
review.  I have not made this proposal elsewhere yet, as i also
have a full-time job!  :-)

Finally, there has to be effective teaching materials for the
classroom, both for teachers and for students.  Concepts must be
taught at the same time as "language syntax."  The more effective
programming languages are those, of course, whose syntax does NOT
get in the way of learning the concepts.  Python, Scheme, and BASIC
are some of the better choices in that area.  And like some of the
other postings i've seen, you DON'T have to reveal *everything*
that Python has to offer.  just start with a small subset and move
from there.

anyway, those are my $0.02 for now.

-wesley

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"A computer never does what you want... only what you tell it."

"Core Python Programming", Prentice Hall PTR, December 2000
    http://starship.python.net/crew/wesc/cpp/

wesley.j.chun :: wesc at yahoo.com
cyberweb.consulting :: silicon.valley, ca
http://www.roadkill.com/~wesc/cyberweb/



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