Programming Apprenticeships

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2024-04-03 16:00:09

This morning I read Reading Challenging Books With Kids is Fun and Probably Useful by Henrik Karlsson at Escaping Flatland. When Henrik Karlsson says,

the reason learning reading comprehension is hard, and why most never learn to do it in the true sense of the word, is that most of what we do when we read is hidden in our heads. Unlike a kid learning to cook by hanging out in the kitchen, a novice reader can’t figure out what to do by looking at Dad reading an essay with his face pressed against his phone.

Collins et al, who worked on cognitive apprenticeships, suggested that the reason so few can read is because they have never seen anyone do it. They have seen books. They have seen words. They have seen grave faces looking at words. But they have never seen the questions and strategies that are playing out behind those grave faces.

I was reminded of programming.11 Sure, reading is even less physical than programming, which after all comes down to manipulating symbols that exist outside the head of the programmer, rather than just looking at them. You can argue that you can program without manipulating symbols but that disagreement is a separate article. So half an hour later when my son (age four) sat down next to me as I was trying to refactor code, I started describing to him what happened in my head, and it got interesting!

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