April 30, 2014

“Throughout this essay, I use the word “mathematics” as a stand in for all disciplines. I use the word “math” to refer to the largely obsolete stuff they teach in schools.” Papert, S. (2006). After How Comes What. In R. K. Sawyer (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences (Vol. 2, pp. 581-586). Cambridge: […]

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 […]

April 7, 2014

“In The Children’s Machine I told a learning story about how I helped a student in the “resource room”—which is where they send the kids who are supposed to have learning disabilities—of a public school in one of our big cities. I was able to guess why this kid was looking all around him with […]

March 10, 2014

“Math really is boring for most people because it is not connected with their interests and their fantasies. You can’t make it part of your dreams.” Papert, Seymour (2005) “A conversation with Seymour Papert, Marvin Minsky, and Alan Kay,” by David Kestenbaum. In Communications of the ACM Volume 48, Number 1 (2005), Pages 35-38. Retrieved […]

March 3, 2014 – We’re back!

“Certain notions of mathematics are not sufficiently embedded in the culture for children to learn in their natural way, so they come to school to learn them. Once children are in school, we try to impose mathematics on them in much the same way it was imposed on us: we begin by making them work […]

June 27, 2012

“It is self-indulgent of us as teachers to say that we can spend 3 hours a week with a student and give them wonderful experiences. What about the billion other children on the planet? What about the rest of the hours for that child? Our task is to identify powerful ideas that have been dis-empowered. […]

May 18, 2012

“On the Cost of Computation in Schools A final word about the cost of doing all this. Turtles. music boxes. computer controlled motors and the like are less expensive than teletypes. Displays are slightly more expensive but becoming rapidly cheaper. So if. computers are being used in a school, there is no good economic argument  […]

May 10, 2012 (Rare Discoveries Week)

“So I think the number one task has to be to really create spearheads, nuclei of change where we can really demonstrate that something really different can be done  – something not improvement, but radically different.” Papert, S. (2000) Keynote Address at CUE Conference. Palm Springs, CA.  In May 2000, Seymour Papert delivered a barn-burner […]

May 8, 2012 (Rare Discoveries Week)

“So there are other ways, through this computer system that have opened up, that enable somebody to get knowledge when you need it. Now this leads to, not only to a radically different idea of what kind of knowledge it is, because there’s nothing numerical and nothing about fractions in the description of the parabola […]

May 3, 2012

“Discussing laptops with local teachers reminded of my encounter in Thailand with Mr. Condom. His real name is Meechai, but he proudly accepts the nickname given in honor of his work teaching villagers in remote areas to use condoms. Statistics show that he has contributed significantly to keeping birth rate and sexually transmitted diseases under […]