Smalltalk as introductory programming language? 
Author Message
 Smalltalk as introductory programming language?

Is Smalltalk used as a first programming language at any college or
university?
--
Ray Lischner, Oregon State University ( http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~lischner/)


Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Smalltalk as introductory programming language?

Quote:

> Is Smalltalk used as a first programming language at any college or
> university?

If it is, I haven't heard about it.  Which is very unfortunate....

Most universities use Java/C++/C as intro programming languages.  The
goal is to give someone a minimal education/training and kick them out
into the world of finance (at least that's what it seems like to me).
At the undergrad level, I've never noticed any of the instructors really
being concerned about whether or not their pupils really *understood*
objects or other "advanced" topic.  (Scarry how objects seem to still be
considered an Advanced Topic...).

If you are considering using Smalltalk for an intro course, then Go For
It!  You're students will know more about objects than any of their
class mates....  And, they'll be more productive.  They will see their
Java and C classmates struggling with basic concepts and will think "I
don't understand why they're having so many problems... Programming is
easy!"

Cheers, and good luck!
pete



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Smalltalk as introductory programming language?
Carleton University in Canada uses smalltalk as  a first programming
language.
More info here:  http://www.scs.carleton.ca/research/oops.html
-Russ


Quote:
> Is Smalltalk used as a first programming language at any college or
> university?
> --
> Ray Lischner, Oregon State University (http://www.cs.orst.edu/~lischner/)



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Smalltalk as introductory programming language?

: If you are considering using Smalltalk for an intro course, then Go
: For It!  You're students will know more about objects than any of
: their class mates.

Why is it important for students to "know more about objects" in a
first programming course? What does it mean to "know more about
objects", and why is that the goal you would choose for a first
course?

Everyone likes to promote their favorite language. But what should the
goal of a first programming course be?  Why should it come down to
"teaching Smalltalk" vs. "teaching Java" or XYZ? If one of these
languages is "taught" in a first course, what should be taught about
them? How should they be taught?

--



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Smalltalk as introductory programming language?

: Carleton University in Canada uses smalltalk as a first programming
: language.  More info here:
: http://www.scs.carleton.ca/research/oops.html -Russ

I did not find any more information about why they chose Smalltalk as
their primary pedagogical language or how they use it or how they
evaluate their success.

Smalltalk is a great system. It is perhaps my favorite. But I am
uncomfortable suggesting it should be used in a first course on
programming without understanding what the goals of such a course
should be. This does not imply I am comfortable with any other popular
language either. I'd rather hear what people think are important
concepts that this course should teach.

--



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Smalltalk as introductory programming language?


Quote:
>Carleton University in Canada uses smalltalk as  a first programming
>language.
>More info here:  http://www.scs.carleton.ca/research/oops.html

Their research page talks about Smalltalk as the primary language, but
their introductory class, 95.105, uses Java
(http://www.scs.carleton.ca/~cs105/).
--
Ray Lischner, Oregon State University (http://www.cs.orst.edu/~lischner/)


Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Smalltalk as introductory programming language?
: Is Smalltalk used as a first programming language at any college or
: university?

If look at comp.edu, there is a post which contains which programming
languages are used in introductory programming classes at various (100+)
universities.

If your news server does not carry comp.edu, or if that article has expired,
send me an e-mail, and I will e-mail the post directly to you.

Ivan

--

Ivan Brusic                        |  "Computers are nothing but a perfect
Graduate Student                   |   illusion of order" - Iggy Pop
College of Computing & GVU Center  |  
Georgia Institute of Technology    |  E-mail: ivan [at] cc.gatech.edu



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Smalltalk as introductory programming language?

: If look at comp.edu, there is a post which contains which
: programming languages are used in introductory programming classes
: at various (100+) universities.

I can draw at least one conclusion from this: People are good at
making lists. What else does that compilation tell me?

--



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Smalltalk as introductory programming language?

Quote:


> : If you are considering using Smalltalk for an intro course, then Go
> : For It!  You're students will know more about objects than any of
> : their class mates.

> Why is it important for students to "know more about objects" in a
> first programming course? What does it mean to "know more about
> objects", and why is that the goal you would choose for a first
> course?

> Everyone likes to promote their favorite language. But what should the
> goal of a first programming course be?  Why should it come down to
> "teaching Smalltalk" vs. "teaching Java" or XYZ? If one of these
> languages is "taught" in a first course, what should be taught about
> them? How should they be taught?

Well, I don't think the argument is really about what language to teach
in the first programming class a student takes.  I think that is
immaterial.  What makes a good programmer is the cumulative experience
of the training, not just the first class.

One big reason that I would advocate teaching Smalltalk in a first year
class is that those students aren't likely to ever see it again (nor
will they see lisp, scheme, or basic--other languages used for intro
classes).  Most of those students are going to get
here-write-this-function jobs in large finance or insurance settings.
Most of the graduates of the U of Illinois CS department do just that.
And they will never see anything but C/C++/Java for the rest of their
lives.  But, if you show them something different in the beginning, then
at least they are *aware* of alternate programming paradigms.  It's the
seeming lack of this awareness that I object to.

-pete

- Show quoted text -

Quote:
> --




Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Smalltalk as introductory programming language?

Quote:


> : If look at comp.edu, there is a post which contains which
> : programming languages are used in introductory programming classes
> : at various (100+) universities.

> I can draw at least one conclusion from this: People are good at
> making lists. What else does that compilation tell me?

Looks to me like that list goes a long way to answering the original
poster's question....
Quote:
> --




Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Smalltalk as introductory programming language?

Quote:

>: Is Smalltalk used as a first programming language at any college or
>: university?

>If look at comp.edu, there is a post which contains which programming
>languages are used in introductory programming classes at various (100+)
>universities.

The list is out of date. The schools listed as using Smalltalk no longer
do so.
--
Ray Lischner, Oregon State University (http://www.cs.orst.edu/~lischner/)


Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Smalltalk as introductory programming language?

Quote:

>I want to create a new course and choose a new teaching language. Based
>on my experience, a good first teaching language should have the
>following attributes:

..

The Open University in England teaches Smalltalk in a programming course (not,
I think the first) to ~5000 students per year.

http://www3.open.ac.uk/courses/cframedes/M206.htm

--

The Object People                       http://www.objectpeople.com                  
613.225.8812(v) 613.225.5943(f)    



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 
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