Experiences/guidance on teaching Python as a first programming language

Terry Reedy tjreedy at udel.edu
Mon Dec 9 20:57:18 CET 2013

On 12/9/2013 7:23 AM, Oscar Benjamin wrote:
> Hi all,
> I work in a University Engineering faculty teaching, among other
> things, programming. In our last meeting about improving our teaching
> syllabus and delivery we've identified the first year programming
> courses as an area where there is room for improvement and we're
> considering (mainly on my suggestion) switching to using Python as the
> first programming language that we use to introduce our students to
> programming. I'm interested to know if anyone can share experience of
> a similar situation or can point to any case studies about this.

A few years ago, MIT switched from Scheme (which I believe originated at 
MIT) to Python for its first course. There might faculty blogs 
discussing the reasons. In any case, the course is one of MIT's free 
online offerings. There is a draft of a syllabus for your school. 
Certainly, most of the concept taught in the current C course could be 
taught with Python instead.

Terry Jan Reedy

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