January 17, 2017

Seymour Papert makes several profound points in this very short clip from a 1991 conference keynote. The complete video, along with its transcript may be found here.

“Another way of describing what school does to children is infantilizing them, treating them like children so to speak. Now, one’s got to be careful playing with that word. I think children should be treated like children, but I think that when I was exploring about how the giraffe slept, I was doing like a child. Being treated like children in that sense, we should all be treated like children. School treats them like children in an impoverishing sense where children are assumed to be people who don’t have good ideas, whose knowledge is limited, who have to be told rather than exploring, discovering, creating, possessing knowledge. I think that’s the shift that we can bring around, about, and we have to … I see setting up that vision as the most important, maybe the most important act in the world because all the other things like saving the environment and the planet will flow from new ways of thinking that depend in turn on children growing up with a different relationship to knowledge and with the world, and a different vision of themselves.”

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