Kirby Urner <email@example.com> writes: >What I'm resisting, with this approach, is the idea that we >need to teach "beginner programming" and "beginner math" as two >separate subjects, each with its own text books, web sites, >teachers, jargon.
This is, of course, not a new idea -- it's at least as old as Logo. And there's a substantial literature on using Logo programming as a vehicle for teaching math, all the way from kindergarten to college. Much of this is published by the MIT Press:
Abelson, Harold, and Andrea diSessa, _Turtle Geometry_ Clayson, James, _Visual Modeling with Logo_ Cuoco, Albert, _Investigations in Algebra_ Goldenberg, E. Paul, and Wallace Feurzeig, _Exploring Language with Logo_ Harvey, Brian, _Computer Science Logo Style_ Hoyles, Celia, and Richard Noss, _Learning Mathematics and Logo_ Lewis, Philip G., _Approaching Precalculus Mathematics Discretely_ Solomon, Cynthia, _Computer Environments for Children_
... and the companies that market versions of Logo also publish books and other curriculum materials (try terrapinlogo.com and lcsi.ca).
But there's a huge inertial resistance, partly because it takes a lot of support for teachers to make this work -- the one-weekend in-service course doesn't cut it.
By the way, I don't think we have to pick the math topics to fit the programming tools. Polyhedra are interesting with or without OOP, but kids can use programming to help them learn traditional math topics too, as in Idit Harel's research on helping fifth graders learn about fractions.