[Tutor] taking Python to next level

Allyn Weaks "allyn." at tardigrade.net
Sun Jul 18 06:46:03 CEST 2004

On 18/7/2004, Magnus Lyckå wrote:
>At 12:10 2004-07-17 -0700, Danny Yoo wrote:

>>we learn
>>more quickly from mistakes than from successes.)
>I'm not so sure about that.

>Secondly, there are an infinite number of
>ways to write a program. Learning one way *not* to write
>doesn't seem very helpful.

Indeed.  Mistakes can (though don't always) convey information about
what to avoid, but they say nothing about what to actively do.
Learning primarily by mistakes is a losing battle.  Building up a
succession of successes is what takes you directly to the meat of

There's a lot of hard evidence that all animals, even invertebrates
such as bees, learn mostly from success--it's hardwired even deeper
than the brain stem.  But as with just about everything, it's best that
the success not be random.  There are now pretty well understood ways
to streamline the process for many subjects/tasks, but making things
better for the student can be more labor intensive on the teacher's
end--since students vary, the exact path to teach them most effectively
does too...

Mark Plonsky's <http://www.uwsp.edu/psych/dog/lib-sci.htm> points to
some good basic references about learning theory.  The somewhat extreme
application to human teaching tries to set things up so that the
student never makes a mistake; it's alleged to be very effective for
things like hand writing and basic arithmetic so far.  IIRC it's called
'perfect learning' or 'perfect teaching', but it's hard to google for
because both phrases are randomly common.
Allyn Weaks    allyn at tardigrade.net   Seattle, WA  Sunset zone 5
Pacific NW Native Wildlife Gardening: http://www.tardigrade.org/natives/
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that
we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only
unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American
public." -- Theodore Roosevelt

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