March 25, 2014

“From the perspective of the 1990s, it appears bizarre or downright reactionary that Mindstorms makes no reference to gender or multiculturalism. I have become convinced that recognizing the androcentric nature of traditional ways of knowing will play a central role in producing change in education. A political reason for this conviction is feminism’s strength as a potential ally of other forces working for deep change in education. A more conceptual reason is the belief that feminist epistemological studies have so far provided the deepest sources of insight into human differences. However, the ultimate theoretical task in advancing, for example, the learning of mathematics, is not producing a range of so-and-so-centric kinds of mathematical knowing but rather finding ways of thinking about mathematical knowledge that will allow each individual to make what in Mindstorms I call a syntonic appropriation. Thus, although in more recent writing I have sought to ally myself intellectually with contemporary trends toward alternative epistemologies, I remain ambivalent about whether to think of Mindstorms’ position in this respect as a bug or a virtue.”

Papert, Seymour A. (1993). Intro to 2nd edition of Mindstorms: Children, Computers, And Powerful Ideas NY: Basic Books. (originally published 1980-81)

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