As teachers of Python, we constantly strive to engage as many learners as possible with meaningful projects and examples to hook and help students make connections with coding. We carefully hone our lesson plans and activities to make them more exciting and effective each time we teach them. We measure our successes based on how many learners engage out of the entire group. But are we collecting the right data to measure success? What happens when we only reach the same type of learners with each project or example? How many potential Python programmers are we missing because they don’t connect with the material we are presenting?
Python is one of the most versatile programming languages, beloved by the most diverse and welcoming communities. How can we broaden the beginners’ learning platform to develop examples and projects to meet the needs of every student? Let’s bust some myths about the perfect curriculum!
AN EDUCATIONAL PODCAST
With Kelly & Sean
PyCon Education Summit 2022
All kids love games, so every student should build games
to start learning Python.
Myth 1: Everyone Loves Games
● Word Puzzles
● Math Problems
● YouTube makeup artists
● Interactive storytelling
● “Cheating” on middle school
● Computer vision
● Machine Learning
● Web scraping
● Twilio API
● Ethical Hacking
● Finance and Bitcoin
● Data analysis
● Graphing and visualization
● Social Entrepreneurship
● Treasure Hunts
● Language Translation
● Home automation
● Music composition
Student projects should be directly comparable
to one another for fairness in grading.
Myth 2: Producing Products
● Process Art versus Product Art
● The best learning comes from student agency and choice
● Embrace the chaos of student-selected projects
● Make your rubrics reflect real learning (they’re subjective anyway)
● Process produces creativity; product produces only one “right”
● The final work product matters more to the student than it does to
The Points Don’t Matter
But the Learning is Real
Trivial examples work best for communicating concepts.
Myth 3: #FooBar4Ever
● Metaphors help create connections; hard to connect to “non” words.
● Students spend more mentally energy deciphering words than
● The amount and quality of prior knowledge influence new
knowledge acquisition and the ability to apply higher order thinking
to solve problems.
● Language can be exclusive or inclusive, focus on teaching for all
● Support PEP8
Ask, ‘How will they learn best?’
not ‘Can they learn?’