Teaching python (programming) to children

Jeff Shannon jeff at ccvcorp.com
Wed Nov 7 23:15:03 CET 2001

David Andreas Alderud wrote:

> Yes, but then, aren't we supposed to teach programmers how the computers
> work? Or am I just a relic of the ancient world of bits, shifts and
> rotations.

Except that, the whole idea of CP4E and teaching programming languages to all
(or most) schoolchildren, is that most of these students will *never* become
programmers.  They will do other things, but will benefit from having some idea
of how to program a computer.  Programmers will still need to know the details
of how a computer works, but they'll pick that up later on (as they learn other
languages, and advanced data structures, and so on).

But to the person who's just trying to write a script to, say, generate a
catalog of all the mp3 files on his computer, it really doesn't *matter* how
many bits a given integer requires, or the difference between a simple linked
list and a red/black tree, or...

To use an automotive analogy, we're teaching kids to be able to change the oil
on their computers, not how to rebuild the transmission.  :)

And even if they later go on to learn how to rebuild that transmission...
they'll still benefit from already knowing how to change the oil.

Jeff Shannon
Credit International

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