Programmer’s Methodology

I interact with professionals of all sorts, both at work and in my role as a consumer and as a friend, et cetera.  I’m speaking here primarily about professions, jobs, rather than personally.  I notice that most people’s work could greatly benefit from the methodology of the programmer, which is more generally an experimental approach to problem discovery and solution.  Teacher’s especially.

I wish I could convince teachers to read John Resig and Bear Bibelaut’s recent book on Javascript, Secrets of the Javascript Ninja.  The innovative approach in that book, to programming pedagogy, but to a lot of types of pedagogy (seems to me), is to instruct the students to create tests that verify the information they are being taught.  The experimental sciences do this also, in labs.

So, really, I guess my idea is the idea of turning problem contexts into labs to conduct carefully designed experiments that both satisfy one’s desire/need to interact with the problem context while also being oriented towards generating experiences which falsify hypotheses about the nature of things.

For sho’, it’s an understanding of the nature of things that transforms things as they probably will be.

Student’s ought to learn how to:

  • teach themselves
  • motivate themselves
  • discipline themselves
  • know when to change course
  • change course
  • ad infinitum

I am thus proposing that teachers develop stepwise progressions through examples in which their students create the conditions in which a definite distinction along some dimension can be perceived.  Then you can start to prescribe the order of the perceptions in order to create gestalts of sorts.

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