[GLLUG] Teddy bear principle

Alistair Mann al at pectw.net
Wed Dec 23 11:08:59 UTC 2020

On 23/12/2020 10:42, Andrew Black via GLLUG wrote:
> Happy christmas everyone....
> Some time ago someone suggested the idea of solving a tech problem by 
> explaining something to you teddy. He is very stupid so it makes sure 
> you explain it well. Sometimes the process of explaining makes you find 
> the thing the clue you have missed.
> I cant put my finger on where it came from (does it matter). Google is 
> taking me to all sorts of sites like "how to make teddies" and "why 
> teddies are called ted".

I've not heard of a teddy-bear based approach (and such an approach 
would surely be based) but what you describe sounds like a variation on 
the "How do you boil an egg" question that introduces programming.

In review - ask a programming student "How do you boil an egg?" and you 
might get the answer
1. Get a pan
2. Put egg in pan
3. Put pan on stove
4. Boil it for three minutes.

The above is, of course, a /trick/ question. In my example above, no 
water was added; "It" could mean boil the pan, not water missing from 
the pan; and what kind of pan? Frying pan? The trick is *whatever* step 
is given can be broken down.

The trick question forces the student to examine his human answer for 
detail appropriate to a program. In the absence of a teacher, explaining 
your answer to a teddy-bear might do.

Happy chrimbo, all
Alistair Mann

t: 07899 846 648

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