Let me chime in with an echo of what Lindsay said, and put it to you
that CS students who are, quote, "not very good at programming", are
the kinds of students I expect a competent system to sharpen up, or
grind out.  I don't expect it to find a way to make them good programmers
in spite of themselves, if those very students lack sufficient drive and
aptitude to conquer the material at hand under their own steam.


Well this discussion all boils down to the role of education. THere are two attitudes

1) We'll take your money, but really you shouldn't be on this course - we would like people who can already program so that we don't have to teach anything.
or
2) We'll take your money, and do the best we can with you.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Frank Wales" <fr...@limov.com>
To: <Ppig-Discuss-List@open.ac.uk>
Cc: "R Bartlett" <ra.bartl...@ntlworld.com>
Sent: Sunday, November 29, 2009 11:31 PM
Subject: Re: "Intuitiveness" of programming languages/paradigms


R Bartlett wrote:
I think if you ask CS undergraduates who are not very good at programming whether they want to program, the answer will change from yes to no after a couple of months.

Let me chime in with an echo of what Lindsay said, and put it to you
that CS students who are, quote, "not very good at programming", are
the kinds of students I expect a competent system to sharpen up, or
grind out.  I don't expect it to find a way to make them good programmers
in spite of themselves, if those very students lack sufficient drive and
aptitude to conquer the material at hand under their own steam.

How much they have paid for the course, or how high their hopes have
been piled, doesn't matter for CS students any more than it matters
for music students or medical students or Latin students.

And I have no vested interest in defending the current teaching situation;
rather I'm a walking, talking data-point from both sides of the student body. I was rightly ground out of medicine, due to lack of interest; I got distinction
passes in computing and molecular biology, despite copious non-academic
stresses, due to compelling interest.

In both cases, the teaching staff helped, but I saw it as my job to
fail or succeed. I managed to do both, in different fields, according to
my drive and aptitude, and I wouldn't expect higher education to be
any other way.
--
Frank Wales [fr...@limov.com]


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