Constructionism: A New Opportunity for Elementary Science Education

There are countless dissertations citing the 1986 NSF proposal, Constructionism: A New Opportunity for Elementary Science Education, by MIT Professor Seymour Papert. For years, I have been on the hunt for the actual document. I even contacted my Congressman to get a copy since the project was funded by the National Science Foundation. Despite those efforts, the document remained the holy grail until this week when the great José Valente of the University of Campinas sent me a copy. (for which I am eternally grateful)

Aside from including a bouquet of sentences in which Papert challenges conventional thinking in just a few words, we believe that this proposal for funding features the first written use of the term, constructionism. This proposal also sets the stage for the seminal Project Headlight work and the embryonic days of LEGO TC Logo, the first programmable robotics construction kit for learners.

This gift will provide food for thought for years to come.


Papert, S. (1986). Constructionism: A new opportunity for elementary science education. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Media Laboratory, Epistemology and Learning Group.