Some Types of Teaching

There are several different types of teaching programming to laymen. This section aims to cover the most important ones and what needs to be considered when they are done.

The first type I’ll discuss is a self-teaching enthusiast who is trying to teach himself programming, perhaps with some help from his friends or people he is interacting with on the Internet. Such an enthusiast usually has a lot of motivation to learn, but on the other hand, will probably not put up with a material that bores him or seems trivial.

The second type is a programmer who tries to teach a child or a teenager programming. Such youngsters are often mostly motivated by things that seem fun to them: games, demos, drawing pretty pictures programmatically, etc. They will have little nerve for a tedious programming language such as ANSI C, in which every task takes a boatload of code.

A different type of pedagogy altogether is introducing programming to students in university. Such students are older, have more mathematical background, and will find other things aside from games enjoyable. On the other hand, they tend to have less willingness to experiment on their own, or to play with the computer. They expect to learn programming so they can either go on with their degree, or use it to learn the rest of their degree.

When people teach programming in the so-called K-12 school (i.e. pre-college or university), then such students will have less mathematical background than their college counterparts, and may find learning programming (as they find learning most everything) a burden. On the other hand, they tend to be brighter and more curious.

The final type of teaching is in training courses. It is known that such people often have to be spoon-fed the material. Plus, they may not be as bright as those who were accepted into high-class universities or colleges.

How does this influence the choice of the introductory language? It probably doesn’t. However, it influences the way the language should be taught and which parts of it should be taught first.