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

Shane Hathaway shane at hathawaymix.org
Wed Nov 9 16:59:43 MST 2005

Jonathan Ellis wrote:
> On Wed, 09 Nov 2005 16:14:22 -0700, "Shane Hathaway"
> <shane at hathawaymix.org> said:
>>I think practice with theory increases the students' ability to learn 
>>theory, but the risk of slipping into too many practical details is 
>>real.  There must be some way to avoid that risk.
> Teach in Python.

Interesting point.  Computer science courses could cover more ground 
that way.  It appears that the general belief among computer science 
instructors is that they should use the most popular languages, like 
Java and C++, to incidentally teach practice while they're teaching 
theory.  That's a mistake because it's teaching a largely unrelated 
practice.  It would be better to use a language that's more optimal for 
teaching, and have students practice applications of the theory being 

Java and C++ should be in some kind of language design course.  The 
course would have many practical applications because so many software 
packages have their own mini-languages.  Students should see for 
themselves the results of language design decisions.


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