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Prof Questions Sink-or-Swim Intro to CS Courses

theodp (442580) writes | more than 3 years ago

Education 2

theodp (442580) writes "'After having taught introductory programming (CS 1) for the past six years,' writes GVSU's Zack Kurmas, 'and having watched many students struggle through this course and the subsequent course (CS 2), I have come to the conclusion that it is absurd to expect students who don't have any prior programming experience to be well prepared to study Computer Science after a single 15-week course (i.e., CS 1). I believe that expecting a student to learn to program well enough to study Computer Science in a single 15-week course is almost as absurd as expecting a student with no instrumental musical experience to be ready to join the university orchestra after 15 weeks.' Kurmas' frustrations are not unlike those voiced by Physics prof Dr. Yung Tae Kim, who argues the up-or-out, one-size-fits-all rigid pace approach to learning set by teachers and administrators is as absurd as telling a toddler, 'You have ten weeks to walk, and if you can't, you get an F and you're not allowed to try to walk anymore.'"

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Learning Curve (1)

markesh (2175442) | more than 3 years ago | (#36205980)

From what i remember reading, America has been on a downhill slide in education for the better part of 10 years... I think this just shows that University admins have no clue how to properly educate our growing out of place workforce.

Meh (1)

theshibboleth (968645) | more than 3 years ago | (#36206364)

It's perfectly reasonable to say that people won't program well after 15 weeks, but what he's proposing, making students wait a year before really doing any serious writing of programs, would be disastrous. Personally, I remember feeling somewhat impatient with the speed of my own introductory programming classes; I couldn't imagine having had to wait even longer before programming. And so you might produce bad code; the act of programming itself forces you to think computationally and is really the best learning experience for CS--better than any lecture possibly could be.
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