Hello! First I’d like to take this time to introduce myself. My name is Clayton Shier and am currently completing Grade 11. I love computer science and anything to do with it. I’ve been an active poster on the CompSci.ca forums for a while now, and I’ve asked Tony to allow me to contribute to his blog. He has graciously given me permission to do so. Thanks Tony.
Every year, it seems that computer science classes start off relatively full. Just like any other class, throughout the semester, some students will inevitably drop the course. With computer science classes however, this dropout rate seems much higher compared to other classes. Indeed, many schools actually do not offer upper level (Grade 11 or 12) courses for computer science due to a “lack of interest” from the general school population. I think that there are many reasons for this, but I believe the mains ones are:
In a more common than it should be situation, many high school teachers are new to the programming language that they teach. They simply receive the curriculum that they are to follow, and are expected to be able to teach a class. This kind of situation is not helped through the use of proprietary software such as Ready to Program with Java (RTP). RTP comes with a bunch of proprietary classes that high schools make use of. This totally reneges on the point of learning Java, as the students would have to basically re-learn Java again, if they were to use it anywhere outside of the class. Not what I call great.
I personally think that addressing these issues would go a long way in keeping students more interested in computer science. If nothing else, it will keep the computer classes from being cut out of school’s programs. This may give those students who are considering programming as a career a better chance at getting where they want to go.
Thoughts? Seeing as this is my first post, any thoughts, comments or concerns will be appreciated.