[Tutor] newbie

Karl Fast karl.fast at pobox.com
Fri Nov 7 11:14:01 EST 2003

> Some studies with teaching Librarians (practiced taxonomists) OOP
> showed that they picked up programming significantly faster than
> control groups learning traditional techniques.

I'd be interested in reading these studies. As a librarian I'm

My undergrad degree is engineering physics. I learned fortran,
pascal, IDL and lots of assembler. All procedural.

But I also have a masters in library & information science. I've
spent most of my life working with physicists, computer scientists,
and librarians. Most library students I know came from english and
history and things like that. For them, math and computers are
scary. I teach them labs and getting them to understand relative
URIs is a big challenge (a few can't even copy files from the hard
drive to a floppy disk)

Most of them don't understand basic programming concepts, let alone
objects. I'm curious about these studies.

For example, in one of my classes the prof took an hour to introduce
IF-THEN-ELSE. This was a completely new concept to most students.
They were big-time lost. It was a basic database class (took it for
an easy credit). The last two weeks covered wiring databases to the
web using Cold Fusion. Basic concepts like variables, data types,
and flow control were big conceptual leaps for these students.

I know that Kay had success teaching smalltalk to kids, but my
experience with librarians makes me skeptical about teaching them
OOP. So I'm *real* curious about these studies.


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