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Friday, 8 November – 10:30-12:00 – Room 602-604

Session D

The Failure of Object Education: What went wrong? What can we do differently?

Moderator: Helen Sharp
The Open University, .hc.sharp@open.ac.uk
Proposer of the motion: David West
New Mexico Highlands University, dwest@cs.nmhu.edu

Proposer of the motion: David West, New Mexico Highlands University, dwest@cs.nmhu.edu Efforts to teach objects have failed. Evidence to support this claim includes the following. There are few, if any, examples of software that we can say were truly developed using the object-oriented approach. Few people, practitioners or academics, really understand (or agree upon) what an object is. The diluted and co-opted form of “objects” that comprise mainstream development are but pale imitations of the radical innovation implicit in the original conceptualization of objects.

This session is a continuation of a discussion started at the Educators’ Symposium on Tuesday, and is included in the main program to open the debate to a wider audience. Participants will discuss these issues, hearing opinions for and against these claims, suggestions for what (if anything) has gone wrong with object education, and what (if anything) we can do about it.

Attendee background

Participants should have an interest in object education. Those with direct experience of teaching or training in the area, or of hiring object-oriented software engineers would be particularly welcome.


This will be a goldfish bowl discussion: a group of participants will begin the discussion, and members of the audience will subsequently be encouraged to take an active part by joining the ‘inner circle’.