PPIG 2017 - 28th Annual Workshop
Code as Art - Art as Code: On the Use of Poetry and Paintings in Programming Education
Felienne Hermans
Abstract: Programming is often taught by having students do practical programming exercises. From simple string reversal to search tree, the examples and methods of teaching mimic the life of a professional programmer in a sense. This leads to young children developing an idea of what programming is. We found that children under 12 already have clear preconceptions of what programming is for.
Can we design educational materials to battle this notion? Can we teach programming by using less traditional forms or viewing programming? In this paper we describe a four part course called Code as Art - Art as Code. It uses poems and paintings to teach novices and experienced programmers to see source code differently. In the first two lessons, participants practice viewing source code as a poem or as a painting (Code as Art). In the other two, they use source code to generate poems and paintings (Art as Code). We describe the scientific and creative rationale behind both and describe our experiences in teaching each of the four parts.