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Samuel Mize <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Samuel Mize <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 18 Jul 1997 12:24:37 -0500
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Michael Feldman wrote:
> Though as an educator, I persist in the notion that one _can_ teach
> the right stuff with the "wrong" language.

Somewhat.  You could teach nuclear engineering in Tagalog, but
you'd constantly be working around the absence of basic concepts
in your frame of expression.

For an introductory course, It's necessary to simplify the field
of "programming."  There are two approaches.  You and I would
reduce it to good, high-level engineering practices, and present
the bits-n-bolts later.  Others take the "ontogeny recapitulates
phylogeny" approach, trying to simplify learning by starting
with the simplest computing system (no types, inheritance,
exceptions, packages, nested procedures...)

An exceptional student will become equally adept learning by
either approach, but the average student will tend to stay with
the styles and ideas that s/he first learned.

> My problem is less with the
> languages than with the motivation for the decision to teach them
> at foundation level.

This is a good point: using language selection as a symptom or
indicator of the overall program approach.

Sam Mize

Samuel Mize -- [log in to unmask] -- Team Ada
(personal net account)