[OT] Education Theory (was Re: Database Design Theory?)

Ross Werner ross at agilestudios.com
Wed Nov 9 18:53:06 MST 2005


On Wed, 9 Nov 2005, Shane Hathaway wrote:
> That's a great example, although AI is a bit of a special case since the way 
> to practice AI in the real world is to further develop the theory. From what 
> I can tell, AI practice is never far from theory.

Ha ha, good point :-)

>> Of course, this is simply an example of learning the theory alongside 
>> practical application of it, not learning practical applications *before* 
>> learning the theory. What do you think of that sort of teaching 
>> methodology, learning them alongside each other?
>
> That works too, as long as the instructor can still make a clear distinction 
> between theory and practice.  If the instructor presents both at the same 
> time, the students are probably going to have a hard time distinguishing the 
> two.

I don't know about that so much. I mean, back to the database example--if 
you have a real-world project you're assigned to solve, and the teacher 
lectures on theory but relates it to the project every once in a while, 
will anyone be confused?

> One way to separate them is to teach practice for a week or two, then 
> theory for a week or two, etc.

The thing that worries me about this one is that (a) this may be too much 
teaching-practice for a University curriculum, and (b) it's difficult for 
many people (both the teachers and the students) to go back in forth 
paradigm-wise in their head. I can just see people being very confused, 
especially the ones who are already slower at picking up the subject to 
begin with.

 	~ Ross



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