May 5, 2014

“Indeed, we might summarize all these points by saying that schoolchildren have been deprived of the opportunity of actually doing mathematics in any sense even thinly related to the working activity of mathematicians. Thus, it is not surprising that children resist, that they seldom carry over their training informal manipulation into less formal situations, and […]

May 2, 2014 – Bonus Content

On April, 24, 2014, the MIT Media Lab hosted a forum, “Learning from Seymour Papert,” featuring long-time friends and colleagues, Nicholas Negroponte, Alan Kay, and Marvin Minsky, along with one of Papert’s former students, MIT Professor Mitchel Resnick. I’m grateful that the lab recorded and shared video of the event. Enjoy! The Daily Papert is a […]

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 28, 2014

“Approaching Logo as an idea in development rather than a fixed thing to be judged has placed me in a third position in relation to debates between people who think Logo is great and those who think it has “failed.” Just as Logo encourages children to see bugs as positive things to think about, so […]

April 22, 2014

“The central question for educators is whether schools of the future will go on teaching the same curriculum, using computers to do the job better, or whether we’ll see radical change in what is taught and what is learned in schools. In my address I shall suggest that the education system will not be able […]

April 8, 2014

“Children get the knowledge they need, when they need it, from networks of friends, hot lines and, when they are old enough, magazines and the Internet. A first step toward building a new relationship with kids is to join them in their exploration of new ways to learn. In addition to giving us their trust, […]

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 […]

April 3, 2014

“I have had a lot of flack from people who read this column (and other things I have written) as advocating taking the hard work and discipline out of learning. I don’t blame them. I am a critic of the ways in which traditional school forces kids to learn and most attempts to introduce a […]

April 2, 2014

“The cost of making computers is falling rapidly. Today a very good educational computer could be manufactured for a thousand dollars. By the end of this decade a very very much more powerful computer will cost only a few hundred dollars. Thus the cost of supplying each child with a personal computer would be a […]