The Conservation of Piaget: The Computer as Grist to the Constructivist Mill

The Conservation of Piaget: The Computer as Grist to the Constructivist Mill is an overlooked academic paper written by Seymour Papert in 1988. It represents one of Dr. Papert’s few published works of psychology and clarifies some misconceptions of Piaget while introducing perspectives from women’s studies. Papert, S. (1988). The Conservation of Piaget: The Computer as […]

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, […]

March 5, 2014

“The essence of Piaget was how much learning occurs without being planned or organized by teachers or schools. His whole point was that children develop intellectually without being taught!” “Papert misses ‘Big Ideas’ of the good old days in AI” MIT News. July 10, 2012. Retrieved on March 3, 2014 from http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2002/papert.html. The Daily Papert […]

April 4, 2012

“I find an interesting toe-hold for the problem in which I called the playful facet–the element of tease inherent in the idea that it would be particularly oxymoronic to convey the idea of constructionism through a definition since, after all, constructionism boils down to demanding that everything be understood by being constructed. The joke is […]

March 8, 2012

“But insofar as it can be seen as an aspect of education, it is about something far more specific than constructivism in the usual sense of the word. The principle of getting things done, of making things — and of making them work – is important enough, and different enough from any prevalent ideas about […]

October 26, 2011

“The majority of the students were in special education classes both inside the facility and in regular school. Typically, in special education the process stays within the standard school epistemological framework, often presenting much the same material just slower and with more personal attention. We were trying to make a more fundamental change by focusing […]

October 24, 2011

“This procedure gave a way to introduce powerful ideas such as mechanical advantage and torque not in an abstract way but in a concrete, connected way. The students found the ideas powerful because they enabled them to achieve what they wanted. A procedure that directs attention to the limiting factors not only models a productive […]

October 5, 2011

“This praise for the concrete is not to be confused with a strategy of using it as a stepping-stone to the abstract. That would leave the abstract ensconced as the ultimate form of knowing. I want to say something more controversial and more subtle in helping to demote abstract thinking from being seen as “the […]

September 21, 2011

“School as we set it up is tailor-made for certain personality types. I like to think of certain scales of oppositions: like obsessional-compulsives and hysterics. This is a little over-simplified. but will help us talk quickly. Our hyperactive child is toward the extreme end of the hysteric scale. The hysteric likes generalities, likes dramatic effects, […]

April 19, 2011

“What an individual can learn, and how he learns it, depends on what models he has available. This raises, recursively, the question of how he learned these models. Thus the “laws of learning” must be about how intellectual structures grow out of one another and about how, in the process, they acquire both logical and […]