[Slightly OT?] Why It's Hard to Explain Rev

Marty Billingsley marty at vertex.ucls.uchicago.edu
Sat Nov 5 07:39:20 EST 2005

> Dan Shafer wrote:
> > Tough one, Marty, because there are so many free languages out there
> > that educational administrators' first knee-jerk reaction (as Andre
> > says in his reply) is to look to cost. But if you can get them past
> > that point then I imagine Judy Perry will have some compelling
> > educational arguments to bolster such a position.
Judy Perry <jperryl at ecs.fullerton.edu> wrote:
> I dunno... maybe I'm at the wrong educational institution, because I can
> tell you that where I am, admin-types would vastly prefer to pay
> bucketloads of dollars for something that "everybody" uses and "everybody"
> has heard of as opposed to a validly competitive free product.

Cost isn't really the issue.  BlueJ is free, after all.

It's more like, "why not teach c++, java, or some other "sexy"
language that's actually used in the marketplace.  I used to
get the same thing with Pascal in my high school classes, but at
least I could counter at the time that Pascal was used in the
AP exam and some companies (like HP) used it a lot at the time.
Now I'm struggling with "why teach intro programming in Scheme?"

In my 8th grade class, which used RR, it's always been a battle,
ever since I began the curriculum using HyperCard.  Nobody had
heard of HyperCard.  Luckily, we're not a "subject area" class,
so the administration doesn't really pay attention to what's
being taught and I can do my own thing.

I just like to have the arguuments lined up for when the question,
"why use RR to teach programming?" does arise.

Thanks for the support this list has given me!

  - marty

Marty Billingsley (marty at ucls.uchicago.edu)
The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

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