O’Reilly.com: An Interview with Jeff Elkner

[ Thanks to S.Ramaswamy for this link.

“Jeff Elkner is a computer programming teacher at Yorktown High
School in Arlington, Virginia, USA. I met Jeff at the Python
Conference in January. I was inspired by his talk, entitled Using
Python in a High School Computer Science Program because it
demonstrated that a high school teacher had begun delivering on the
promise of Python as a first teaching language.
He brought
three of his high school students to the conference with him to
discuss the projects they were working on.”

Jeff, what led you to use Python in your first-year computer
programming class?”

We had switched to teaching C++, from Pascal, when the College
Board switched to C++ for the AP exam. I was having a great deal of
difficulty with C++. I was turning off 50 percent of my students. I
found myself fighting with the syntax and I was really frustrated
trying to explain clearly what computer science was about while
using a language that seemed to get in the way.”

“So I went looking for something else. At that same time, there
was a high school Linux User’s Group discussion about which
language was best for teaching programming in a high school.
Someone on that list suggested Python, and over half of the people
on the list jumped in and concurred that it would be the ideal
choice for a first language. That’s what led me to investigate

Complete Story