What We've Swept Under the Rug: Radically Rethinking CS1

Stein, Lynn Andrea (1998) What We've Swept Under the Rug: Radically Rethinking CS1. [Journal (Paginated)]

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Introductory computer science education is entrenched in an outdated computational model. Although it corresponds neither to our computing environments nor our work, we teach our students a single-thread-of-control static problem-solving view of the role of the computer program: computation as calculation. In this model, the job of a computer program is to start with a problem, calculate its answer, return that answer, and stop. This program-as-an-island bears little resemblance to most of today's software. We can dramatically improve this situation--and, as a corollary, all of undergraduate computer science--by teaching our students from the very beginning to conceptualize computation with a model of computer programs as simultaneous ongoing entities embedded in and interacting with a dynamic environment: computation as interaction; computation as it occurs in spreadsheets and video games, web applications and robots.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Subjects:Computer Science > Artificial Intelligence
ID Code:543
Deposited By: Stein, Lynn Andrea
Deposited On:25 Jun 1999
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54


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