TITLE: Whom Should We Bore? AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: October 08, 2009 5:33 PM DESC: ----- BODY: Alfred Thompson says that we should beware boring the smart kids in our classes, as part of a wider discussion about losing potential CS majors because of what they experience in CS1. I agree with many people that we need to work hard to bore neither our brightest students nor our average students. And it is hard work, indeed. It's hard enough sometimes even when we have only one of these groups of students in class, say, when we teach an honors section. However, what struck me most as I read through several blog entries and comments in this conversation was this: It is sad that we have created an educational system in which it's possible to think that this is a legitimate choice: risk losing great students OR risk losing average students. We have created a system of schools and universities that are organized more for administrative convenience and high throughput than for learning. Actually, our system dates to a time when schools and classes were smaller, and it just doesn't scale very well as either grows. Our regimented curricula and university systems are the real problem, not the teachers or the students. -----