The classical computer science way

I was listening to a person teaching a computer programming course and got some interesting thoughts

They were lamenting about the fact that their students did not understand the topic, and how they were glad that all of these unsuitable (Different words where used) people where dropping out. So I asked the question why not change the way you are teaching to accommodate and deal with some of these issues? No they need to learn all of the logic first; I make them do the programs on paper that is the way it needs to be done. What this really was about after further discussion was making sure it was done in the classical computer science way. The comment that came with this was they should not be here, they will never be programmers! After this was said my first thought was you are right with you they will never be programmers, you made sure of that.

My questions for this are

1. Is the old way best?

2. What happens if half the students fail? Did the teacher fail?

3. At what point is it decided how many is too many?

4. Should the attitude be? if it was hard for me it should be hard for you.

5. Is there only one right way to do something?

My thought is that rather than helping people, in many cases we are hindering them. I think that a teacher has failed when most of their students fail. We need to relook at how things are done. We should not allow students to progress without achieving the objective, but… The objective is arbitrary and our purpose should not be to fail people or make people suffer, but rather to teach. so we need to revisit not only the content but also the methods. I think many people make it through an education in spite of the teacher or system rather than because of them.

When there is only one way, the way is probably wrong!