Monday, March 26, 2007

Why Pencil Science?

This is a blog about the nuts and bolts of computer literacy from a Pythonic perspective.

I would like not merely to defend the position that computer programming is "for everybody" but also to examine the proposition that Python is the appropriate vehicle for it.

Of course, "computer science is not about computers" but about formally expressing processes using symbols. The misnomer is consequential in how most people think about the question of the role of programming in education.

We don't teach children how to write because we expect them all to be professional writers. Professional writers are not opposed to literacy on the grounds that they will lose readership. We do not call the ability to write "pencil science".

Perhaps we should start, though. Maybe it would make the absurdity of how we misrepresent beginning software education as a vocational track more clear.

I am focusing my explorations on an opportunity to write an article for the Python Papers in the very near future. I'd like to use this blog, at least at first, as a gathering place for ideas from others. If you have anything you'd like to add, read on.

Many thanks
Michael Tobis

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