On Inspiration

We've been seeking to identify potential examples of CT inspiring so that we can market and "pull" demand for CT subject matter.

First, we should note that CT skills have not yet been identified, and thus, any examples would have to be analogous at this stage. The point in those examples being that this is the type of potential CT holds.
Second, what may be inspirational to one segment, may not inspire all, so we should continue to seek out appropriate examples for the corresponding groups - k-12, college, employers.

That said, here is one that may fit the bill.

"But then he started to think about what he'd learned as a tutor. That if he broke things down for students into small increments, if they had a chance to practice and learn, they could inevitably continue. He realized that the same thing was true for him, too. This was John's first "a-ha!" moment. A powerful enough realization that he went on to earn his PhD."

"How powerful is that? Eager to get his revolutionary approach to teaching math into the hands of teachers, John created a not-for-profit organization called JUMP (Junior Undiscovered Math Prodigies). Today, JUMP is getting spectacular results with all kinds of kids. For instance, after working with JUMP, an entire class of Grade 3 students, including so-called slow learners, scored over 90% on a Grade 6 math test. A group of British children who had been written off as too unruly responded so enthusiastically and had such impressive results that the school board adopted the program. I could go on and on."

This example could serve as one in the area of decomposition - taking complex problems and breaking them down for further understanding, practice, and study.

So what's so CT about that? Well, nothing really. Other than how commonly this technique is used in CS to solve complex problems - code modularization, and once modularized those modules need to interact, calls to libraries, iterations between modules, etc.

  • Abstraction
  • Algorithm
  • Data
  • Decomposition
  • Iterations
  • Query
  • Sense & Feedback
  • Systems

Often times it's more about making things simpler to understand, study, explain, practice, and use, as a means to working on complex problems. While it's one of the more basic concepts, it's often overlooked in problem solving.

Posted in Labels: , |


  1. Phil Tierney Says:

    John Mighton's example is inspirational and instructive as you suggest, Ray. One might also observe that this discussion has (almost inevitably) becomes recursive or self-referential...yet another example of an example.

    [Humorous geek trivial pursuit: see what happens when you google the term "recursion".]

    BTW, as a way of attempting to increase the visual interest of the blog, you may have noticed that I have been adding relevant graphic objects to posts that come in as text only. I will desist if you don't approve.

  2. Ray DePena Says:


    I don't object to adding visual objects.

    As for googling recursion, I was expecting Godel, Escher, Bach to pop up.