[erlang-questions] Erlang for youngsters

zxq9 zxq9@REDACTED
Sat Jun 21 01:30:21 CEST 2014

On Saturday 21 June 2014 00:32:15 Mark Nijhof wrote:
> > You need one more thing to teach *kids*: don't treat them like kids.
> > Consider them equal to you and your peers and respect them.
> This!

Most important part of the discussion has been reached. You can't force a kid 
to understand anything, and you can't force a kid to want to understand 
anything. You're best hope is to get them interested in something on their own 
terms. Once they want to know something, find it gives them power, becomes 
part of their internal goal set -- you'd be hard pressed to prevent a child 
from acquiring knowledge, even if you forbid it (maybe especially if you 
forbid it).

Its almost like... they are people or something.

I believe in the idea of teaching by simplified abstraction, and then 
successive replacement of any current concept model by more complex and 
accurate models. Nothing about this is specific to children. Abstracting away 
the confusing bits is different from developing a "child friendly" version of 
a course of study. In particular, the kids you'd really hope get interested in 
this stuff are the very ones that would subconsciously reject the "child safe" 
version of whatever cirricula you hope to convey.

(The idea that interest is a prerequisit to non-trivial intellectual pursuits 
does not sit well with some people; because it follows that most people (not 
just kids) aren't going to understand most things, especially programming, 
because most people aren't interested and therefore will forever remain 
unsuited to such study.)

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