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Re: Bling Bling (or: Teaching Perl to Teenagers)

by andal (Friar)
on Dec 29, 2010 at 10:31 UTC ( #879601=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Bling Bling (or: Teaching Perl to Teenagers)

I've found that with most students in this age group, their expectations don't quite line up with reality.

Hm. Shouldn't then your goal be to line up them with the reality? With the simple truth, that to create something original one has to be excited about the text of the program :)


Comment on Re: Bling Bling (or: Teaching Perl to Teenagers)
Re^2: Bling Bling (or: Teaching Perl to Teenagers)
by Sprad (Hermit) on Dec 29, 2010 at 16:22 UTC
    Absolutely. I address that in the first lesson. I go into detail about what the class isn't. No, we're not going to play games all day and get a grade for it. No, we're not going to make the next World of Warcraft. And so on.

    You'd be surprised how many sign up thinking it's some sort of Game Appreciation class.

    ---
    A fair fight is a sign of poor planning.

      I understand this part. Really, I'm just "meditating" on the subject, so sorry if it goes out of the line :)

      Somehow, even when I studied in the school myself, I was viewing the process as an interaction between the teacher and the student/pupil. For this interaction really to work, the student should want to get the knowledge and the teacher should want to share it. If at some point the teacher finds him/herself searching for a way to attract attention of his students, then something is wrong. Either the students or the teacher don't fit. And I don't imply that the teacher may simply be boring. I just say, that the goal of the teacher should be to find the best way to give knowledge. At the same time this should be done only for students who want to obtain the knowledge.

      I guess, real life can never match the ideal. In real life one should pay and should be paid. So things like winning the attention of students, or students going to lessons not knowing why they take them, these things are quite common. But then, the developers that don't understand what they are doing are also common. Doesn't it look connected? Shouldn't we then try to react to this, or just let it be?

      Again, this is nothing else but meditation, not even directly related to perl :)

        If at some point the teacher finds him/herself searching for a way to attract attention

        This line caught my attention because the best teachers I ever had taught me new ways to see and were able to make things that I once thought boring interesting. I can't imagine that they didn't consciously or unconsciously put a lot of thought and effort into communicating their topic (and passion) in a way that first drew me in and then drew out my creative engagement.

        And yet, there is something true in what you are saying as well. I wonder what the difference between searching for ways to get attention as a sign of trouble and searching for ways to get attention as a sign of excellence? Any further thoughts?

        At the same time this should be done only for students who want to obtain the knowledge.

        As a teacher, I would give anything to teach a room full of students who want to be in my class. Unfortunately, that's never the case. There are a few students who genuinely want to be there, sure. But a lot of them are there for the wrong reasons.

        • My class is less strenuous than PE
        • My class is easier than Spanish
        • My class doesn't require you to talk like Speech does
        • The students' parents made them take it
        • There weren't enough seats in their desired class
        • The student has a crush on some other kid in my class
        • Hey, this class uses computers! I bet we'll get to play games and surf Facebook all day!

        Then there's the different pressures on the teacher. Gotta keep those enrollment numbers up, especially when budgets are constrained. A class of 3 very interested, very dedicated students doesn't look as good on paper as a class of 25 bored, distracted kids. I'd rather teach the 3, but the ideal is far from reality.

        ---
        A fair fight is a sign of poor planning.

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