Philosophy Behind Blue Pelican Java


You will find this book to be somewhat unusual. Most computer science texts will begin with a section on the history of computers and then with a flurry of definitions that are just “so many words” to the average student. My approach with Blue-Pelican Java is to first give the student some experience upon which to hang the definitions that come later, and consequently, make them more meaningful.

This book does have a history section in the Appendix and plenty of definitions later when the student is ready for them. In Lesson 1 we go right to work and write a program the very first day. The student will not understand several things about that first program, yet he can immediately make the computer do something useful. This work ethic is typical of the remainder of the book. Rest assured, that full understanding comes in time. Abraham Lincoln himself subscribed to this philosophy when he said, “Stop petting the mule, and load the wagon.

The usual practice in most Java textbooks of introducing classes and objects alongside the fundamental concepts of primitive variable types, loops, decision structures, etc. is deferred until the student has a firm grasp of the fundamentals. Thus, the student is not overwhelmed by simultaneous introduction of OOPs (Object Oriented Programming) and the fundamentals. Once introduced, (Lesson 15), OOPs is heavily emphasized for the remainder of the book.

I fully realize that there are those who disagree with this idea of deferring the introduction of OOPs, and from their own point of view, they are right. In most cases they teach only the very highest achieving, older students. In those cases, I agree that it is acceptable to begin with OOPs; however, for the average student and especially the youngest high school students, I feel that they need to understand the fundamentals first.

Charles E. Cook