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fascinating mazes suitable for exploration by researchers and hackers, but
dispatch the average student in horror
after just a few interactions.
The ideal language and the IDE for
imaginative programming are still to
be designed. If we develop them, educational stakeholders will see how programming provides students with an
interactive, engaging medium for studying and exploring mathematics. Thus,
it may just turn computing into an indispensable subject for all students,
right up there with the other three Rs.
Our community is at a crossroads when
it comes to tackling our educational
needs. We can continue to search for
more saviors and hope that somehow,
somewhere computing will receive the
respect it deserves. Or we can try to
help ourselves and others by turning
a piece of the core school curriculum
into something that students find appealing and even exciting. Our proposal is just one way of moving in this direction. We don’t know whether it will
succeed at large scales; and we can’t
know yet what else our community
will discover once we start the search.
What we do know is that the savior-driven ways have had their chance for
many years, and they have failed.
We thank Robby Findler and Matthew
Flatt for their partnership over these
dozen years. Kathi Fisler helped hone
our thoughts in this essay. Emmanuel
Schanzer turned our ideas into the
Bootstrap middle school curriculum,
and his efforts have greatly influenced
1. College Board. AP: Exam Grades: Summary Reports:
2. College Board. Important Announcement about
AP Computer Science AB: Important Change for
the 2009–2010 Academic Year; http://apcentral.
3. USACM. AP Computer Science is NOT Going
Matthias Felleisen ( email@example.com) is Trustee
Professor in the College of Computer Science at
Northeastern University in Boston, MA.
Shriram Krishnamurthi ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is an
associate professor of computer science at Brown
University in Providence, RI.
Copyright held by author.