[Haskell-cafe] Haskell for children? Any experience?

Jason Jason at JasonKnight.us
Fri Jan 28 17:53:35 CET 2011

On Thu, Jan 27, 2011 at 10:26 PM, Chris Smith <cdsmith at gmail.com> wrote:

> Like I said in the original post, my initial
> reaction was to push for something like Python.  But the kids are very
> clear; if I'm at all willing, they want to learn Haskell!

IMO the most important facet of education is motivation, which it sounds
like the kids already have in spades. Therefore, your primary job is to feed
and protect their enthusiasm while making it easier for them to learn what
they want (and guiding them in the right direction).

It sounds like whatever you were doing with GHCi was working, so I would
build off of that and expand it to programs that require writing to disk,
interact with one another (networking), and such. I remember when I was a
kid, I wanted to be able to write things to disk so badly (I have no idea
why), but to me that was what 'real' programming was all about.

I agree that sound, animations, etc... are very sexy and if done right can
increase their enthusiasm many fold, but it also has the ability to turn
them off from the simple elegance of what first hooked their interest. So
start simple and be attentive to what THEY enjoy and you will give them the
most valuable programming knowledge of all: passion.

Best of luck and keep us up to date on your blog/reddit posts!
Jason M. Knight
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