Happy Juneteenth!

“If you are interested in how learning happens, you should start by looking at success stories. It is amazing that if you look at the articles in the journals of education and educational psychology, you’ll find that they are all about failures. The whole subject is based on how badly people learn in the environment (schools) in which they should learn very well. We should rather think about success stories of good learning.

I would also like us to catch the vision of aspiring to something bigger and better, of some kind of change or improvement which would make things a little better in our schools. It doesn’t turn me on to think that we teach computing in schools because it is a basic skill and something that everyone ought to know. What does turn me on is the hope that the computer in some sense might be the magic mountain. What I am really interested in is not teaching about computers (however important that might be), but rather determining whether knowing about computers can really deeply change everything else.”

Papert, S. (1978). Personal Computing and Its Impact on Education. Address presented at the Gerard P. Weeg Memorial Conference, Iowa City.

Read more about the “magic mountain” and the rest of this speech here.

The transcript of this conference address was also published in Papert, S. (1980). Personal Computingg and Its Impact on Education. In R. Taylor (Ed.), The Computer in the School: Tutor, Tool, Tutee. NY: Teacher’s College Press.

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