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I think there are intangible things that get lost when you watch someone else do something as opposed to doing it yourself. The exercise is about going through the mental motions of understanding the problem, designing a solution, and iterating on it until it's correct. The last part is all about learning from your own mistakes, seeing what specific things trip you up, so you know to improve on them. That's not something you can get by watching others.

I agree that there isn't enough time in a life to learn everything you'd want to first hand or from a low level of abstraction, but school should be a place to do as much of it as possible. Just my 2c.

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