Subject: Re: Can I use Lisp?
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 27 Oct 2000 17:39:58 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Wade Humeniuk <>
| Would this problem->solution approach be a good teaching method?
| Leave the discussions about recursion, iterations, conditionals,
| hash tables till later. Focus on getting your ideas to work on the
| computer.  I have seen this in how my kids learn.  It works best for
| them when they wish to accomplish something and then they learn
| things they need on the way to getting it done.  They learn much
| more effectively when what they are learning is pertinent.  Focus on
| how Lisp does not get in the way but can be an effective tool in
| accomplishing things.  The teacher is there to guide the way that
| has been travelled before.  The student is there to find the way.

  This sounds very much like the Problem-Oriented Learning methodology
  now popular in many medical schools.  Due to the enormous mass of
  knowledge to learn and sheer amounts of information to memorize
  (more or less), many ways to motivate students have been tried.
  Bringing attention to problems that a (good) teacher can pose in
  such a way as to fit the students' expected level of understanding
  and skills, means that there is a feeling of mastering problems all
  the time.  It is reported harder work than the older styles with
  lectures and mainly reading several thousand pages of literature,
  but that seems to be because students actually do the work, as
  opposed to skipping the incredibl boring parts.

  I keep thinking the level of attention to detail and the necessity
  to learn a tremendous amount of "stuff" for modern programmers is
  closer to very established professions like medicine and law than
  some of the undereducated punks would dream of in a nightmare.  Most
  of the CS education I have come across, both my own and what I have
  read about elsewhere, has been in uninspiring theory and too little
  actually rewarding work, especially as the theories get more and
  more advanced and the poor student has _no_ idea whence they all
  came, simply because of lack of programming experience.  No wonder
  today's dot-com coders think they need no education.  *Sigh*

  Does anyone remember where I parked Air Force One?
                                   -- George W. Bush