The Teaching of Formal Programming

- - posted in learning, programming, teaching

I read the following last night. It strikes me we could substitute writing for programming and it would hold.

For decades researchers have been telling us that “the teaching of formal grammar has a negligible or … even a harmful effect on the teaching of writing” (Richard Braddock, Richard Lloyd-Jones, Lowell Schoer, Research in Written Composition, 1963). I agree if by “the teaching of formal grammar” is meant memorizing the parts of speech or rehearsing the distinction between dependent and independent clauses or listing the uses of the subjunctive. That kind of rote knowledge is merely taxonomic. It explains nothing; students who acquire it have learned nothing about how to write, and it is no surprise when research demonstrate its nonutility.

Stanley Fish How to Write a Sentence