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Re: Pedagogy: pointers or plaintext posts

by danger (Priest)
on Apr 08, 2002 at 20:35 UTC ( #157544=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Pedagogy: pointers or plaintext posts

You can lead a student to water but you can't make him Think! I don't think you are doing anyone a disservice by supplying code and explanations that either go beyond the documentation, or put the documentation into the context of the problem they are trying to address (which is what I think you usually do, and what I try to do when time permits). Some people, especially at first, find it hard to make the leap from the docs to their own problem space. If you supply both pointers and your additional helping hand approach, I don't think you are hurting anyone: Those who just need (or prefer) a pointer to the docs get one; those needing a little applied documentation transference also benefit --- and when/if they do read the docs, your additional demonstrations will probably help them further understand the docs. Those who blindly use your code without trying to understand are, well, ... blind by choice. Always remember, though, that this place is an archive --- just because you might suspect that the person asking isn't interested in reading the docs or learning doesn't mean that the next person with a similar question who happens across (or is pointed to) your post won't gain full benefit. Fuller explanations may seem wasted on some, but they are never really wasted.

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