Here's my idea. In light of all the efforts to teach kids how to do programming, why not start with an introduction to discrete mathematics instead? From a lot of the programs I've seen, the kids are taught different structures such as if else, while, and for loops, but they don't attempt to start teaching them about recursive methods or even other structures such as linked lists, queues, dequeues, binary trees, heaps, different sorts, and other things. Am I just not looking deep enough into those programs? Or are the creators of these programs not wishing to cover those things because they feel like children wouldn't be able to comprehend such things?

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    Kids usually lack patience, and hence would want immediate results, rather than studying deeper concepts and then applying them.
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    I guess starting with the syntax of a language is ok (like the previous comment said you get instant results and you have a bit of fun when starting) but especially in school they focus way to much on the specific languages syntax. The syntax in comparison can easily be learned by yourself and the teaching should focus way more on algorithms and programming concepts in general
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    I suppose it depends what age your talking about. But try teaching a kid that your not related to beginning with data structures and you'll see why. Your already invested in the knowledge so it seems a good and obvious place but why as a kid when there's lots of new exciting things to do and learn would they be motivated and interested to learn a bunch of data structures that they can't see immediate use for? Maybe I'm cynical and I just would need to be taught in the right way. Interesting discussion point :)
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    As someone who got ITC at school rather than actual programming (seriously the most anyone had to do in my class was build a website, in word, and export as HTML) and was given VB at college and asked to be building C++ classes by the third week of university...

    I feel like I can comment with a fair amount of experience (although, I understand education isn't like this now so I don't know how applicable my opinions will be now).

    As a student learning the maths behind programming was hard and uninteresting. As an in work programmer seeking to expand my knowledge and write good good I wish I had understood the maths. The problem was maths was taught as an abstract concept with no application to the programming material we were being taught.

    I mean, sure I have, on more than one occasion used set theory to solve a problem, but I wasn't told some languages have sets and the various set operations are actually function calls. They could have at least shown example code...
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