Dealing With Teacher

This is a discussion on Dealing With Teacher within the C++ Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; Hi! I have been programming on and off for a while, so my knowledge is full of holes. That's why ...

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    Question Dealing With Teacher

    Hi! I have been programming on and off for a while, so my knowledge is full of holes. That's why I decided to take Computer Science 201N at my high school. My teacher has said a few things that strike me as odd. First, he claimed iostream.h and conio.h were necessary for programming, which I know not to be true, I've compiled programs without them. Also, he uses void main(), not int main(). I want to question him as to these issues, but I don't want to alienate him, and I don't know if it's appropriate to go into such a class knowing so much about the subject and therefore am not looking to be seen as a know-it-all. How should I go about talking to him on these issues?

    Also, he claims that some compilers won't work if you don't leave a space between things, ex. cout << "Blah"; In all the compiling that I've done with dev-cpp, I've never had this problem. I've simply written it as cout<<"Blah"; Also, he says that Visual C++ doesn't care either. Is this really an issue?

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    and the hat of wrongness Salem's Avatar
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    Like the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, it seems your teachers knowledge of C++ can be classified as "contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate".

    I think the easiest thing to do is throw the C++ standard at them, and point out that everything they know so far is a crock.

    void main is plain wrong, conio.h is a compiler specific header (have they ever programmed outside DOS before) and iostream.h is definitely old-school C++.
    At best, you're going to learn an old version of C++ for a dead OS.

    Windows programs have no need for conio, Linux programs (of any flavour) have no need of conio, Mac programs have no need of conio. Mobile phones, PDA's, DVD players, microwaves - nope, none of those need conio either.

    I assume you're paying money for this, so make sure you're getting good value. Or take your custom elsewhere.

    > Also, he claims that some compilers won't work if you don't leave a space between things, ex. cout << "Blah";
    Only broken compilers would have a problem with this.

    This is really like an English teacher teaching people to write exactly like Shakespeare would write. Interesting and informative it may be, but hardly appropriate for today's modern usage.
    If you dance barefoot on the broken glass of undefined behaviour, you've got to expect the occasional cut.
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    I think it's worth the money, seeing as I'll get three college credit-hours for $120 as opposed to whatever high price they charge nowadays. I guess I'll just have to stick it out then, and keep updating my knowledge through the internet.

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    Captain Crash brewbuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nero_Martin View Post
    Hi! I have been programming on and off for a while, so my knowledge is full of holes. That's why I decided to take Computer Science 201N at my high school. My teacher has said a few things that strike me as odd. First, he claimed iostream.h and conio.h were necessary for programming, which I know not to be true, I've compiled programs without them. Also, he uses void main(), not int main(). I want to question him as to these issues, but I don't want to alienate him, and I don't know if it's appropriate to go into such a class knowing so much about the subject and therefore am not looking to be seen as a know-it-all. How should I go about talking to him on these issues?
    I wouldn't talk to him, I'd just drop the class. If your instructor is getting these fundamental things wrong, he's probably getting a LOT of other stuff wrong, some of which will not be so obvious to you. It can take a long time to recover from having your brain stuffed full of bogus or misleading information.

    But if you do decide to bring it up, it certainly shouldn't make you look like a "know-it-all." Knowing that the return type of main() is int, not void, and knowing that any particular header file is NOT a requirement, is certainly not "all" a person could know -- far from it.

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    and the hat of wrongness Salem's Avatar
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    Send him here, we'll put him right!
    If you dance barefoot on the broken glass of undefined behaviour, you've got to expect the occasional cut.
    If at first you don't succeed, try writing your phone number on the exam paper.
    I support http://www.ukip.org/ as the first necessary step to a free Europe.

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    Right, there are several types of teachers. Some take quite badly to "besser-wissers", others can deal with not being right all the time.

    I'm one of those people who can't shut my mouth even at the best of times, so when I see a teacher/boss/etc do something wrong, I say so. Sometimes this gets me into trouble [more so than typing somethng on a forum, where if you get it wrong, you can edit or delete later on and hope that no one saw it].

    You may have better luck staying after class and having a quiet word with the teacher, explaining that you think he's/she's wrong, and why this is. Be "gentle", and it may work better. Try on some simple issue which is non-controversial.

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    The superhaterodyne twomers's Avatar
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    Also, if my experience with teachers is anything to go by don't use the phrase 'you're plain wrong, dolt' ... Show him he's wrong ...

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    Registered User hk_mp5kpdw's Avatar
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    Best case is you have a teacher who's willing to learn as well as teach. You can point out what you've learned elsewhere and why they are more acceptable and hopefully they aren't so full of themselves and their own infallibility that they will listen. Some teachers may treat their classroom as their own personal fiefdom and take any new ideas as a threat to their dominance/authority. If you have one of those then I'd say don't bother mentioning it to them. Odds are, the more they encourage participation of the students in the class the more they'd be willing to entertain new ideas. Teachers that simply stand at the front with their backs turned to the class and lecture while scribbling on the board are less likely to want to hear anything new. Just some personal thoughts on the matter.
    "Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods."
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    and the hat of wrongness Salem's Avatar
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    The problem is, I think this teacher is probably wrong about most things.

    Nero_Martin is wise to seek out other resources to verify everything which comes out in class.

    > seeing as I'll get three college credit-hours for $120
    How many are in the class?
    Someone is making $$$ from all this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snake_oil
    If you dance barefoot on the broken glass of undefined behaviour, you've got to expect the occasional cut.
    If at first you don't succeed, try writing your phone number on the exam paper.
    I support http://www.ukip.org/ as the first necessary step to a free Europe.

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    I took up computer science as a class 11 subject last year (now doing class 12)...they taught us everything in Borland Turbo C++ 4.5, with the end result that when I started working at home on new compilers, I didnt know head or tail of what to do...the *.h had been removed from headers, there was an obligation of putting a new line at the end of every program, using namespace std; was new to me, you cant put in void main any more...and when I joined a few C++ communities online, I found that Im the lowest ranking coder ever, despite being the best in my class.
    And this is just school eh.

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    there are 12 in the class. I know, twelve misinformed people at the end of the year. I plan on seeing him alone at the end of the day monday.

    For those who are interested, I did find the exact place where main() is defined as type int.
    It's at http://www.csci.csusb.edu/dick/c++std/cd2/basic.html at section 3.6.1 [basic.start.main], so at least I have that in my arsenal when I talk to him. This is from the ANSI C++ standard.
    Last edited by Nero_Martin; 09-22-2007 at 12:23 PM. Reason: my brain and my hands aren't really coordinated

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    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    Also, he claims that some compilers won't work if you don't leave a space between things, ex. cout << "Blah"
    There is a grain of truth to this though. Currently, std::vector<std::vector<int>> has to be written as std::vector<std::vector<int> >. Without the extra space, the last ">>" will be read as one token.

    You will also find the C++ standard good for showing that <iostream> is standard whereas <iostream.h> and <conio.h> are not.
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    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Well if you can't play, coach. If you can't coach, announce.

    If you can't program, teach.

    I would drop the class. Your 'teacher' has far too many fundamental concepts wrong.

  14. #14
    Kiss the monkey. CodeMonkey's Avatar
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    Hey, what the heck, I'll throw in my two cents.

    Avoid the class like the plague.
    "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything"
    -Mark Twain

  15. #15
    Its hard... But im here swgh's Avatar
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    The other reason could be he is "teaching what he was taught" when he learned the language. So, he can only suggest concepts that he belives to be true, dispite them being flawed.
    I'm just trying to be a better person - My Name Is Earl

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