In this paper 
 we have presented a quantitative evaluation. These initial results suggest 
that the "python" approach leads to some improvements for learning introductory 
programming concepts (such as loops, conditional, etc) by students.


From: Russel Winder []
Sent: 10 June 2011 20:07
To: Stasha Lauria
Cc: Richard O'Keefe; Rebecca Yates; PPIG Listserve
Subject: RE: Call for advice, and possible case study?

On Fri, 2011-06-10 at 19:47 +0100, Stasha Lauria wrote:
> I fully agree on both:
> 1-  Don't teach Java.
> 2-  before learning _Java_, it pays to learn something about _programming_, 
> and that's definitely easier using Python than using Java.
> This is based on my personal experience of teaching programming to First year 
> undergraduate students.

Graham Roberts at UCL is using Groovy and Sarah Mount at Wolverhampton
and James Shuttleworth at Coventry are using Python to great effect.
The folk at Leeds are using Python also I believe.

The big problem though is the the issue of type.   Believers in static
strong typing will object to the use of languages that work with dynamic
typing even though learners seem to find it easier to do things without
having to worry about types in the first instance.  I guess someone
somewhere needs to do some experimentation rather than there just be
anecdotal evidence and advocacy research?

Dr Russel Winder      t: +44 20 7585 2200   voip:
41 Buckmaster Road    m: +44 7770 465 077   xmpp:
London SW11 1EN, UK   w:  skype: russel_winder

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