April 29, 2014

“The relation of school children to mathematics remains deeply puzzling after more than a decade of wide-scale experiment in the classroom and in the cognitive laboratory. The extent of the puzzle is often obscured by popular prejudices about mathematics and about children. For if one asks: “why cannot every child learn algebra in a week?” the answer is likely to be influenced by glib thoughts like “math is difficult” and “no one learns that fast.” But the question is a serious one and requires us to ask: wherein is mathematics difficult? What rational analysis convinces us there is that much to learn? Some things can be learned in ten minutes; why do children need so very long to understand equations or the manipulation of negative numbers?”

Feurzeig, W., Papert, S., & Lawler, R. (1969). Programming-Languages as a Conceptual Framework for Teaching Mathematics. Final Report on the First Fifteen Months of the LOGO Project. Bolt, Berenek, and Newman, Inc.

Thanks to Tracy Rudzitis for her contribution of this passage.

The Daily Papert is a service of Constructing Modern Knowledge, the world’s premiere educational event for educators to learn-by-doing. Learn more about this year’s institute at constructingmodernknowledge.com.

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