May 14, 2014

  “Across the globe there is a love affair between children and the digital technolo¬≠gies. They love the computers, they love the phones, they love the game machines, and – most relevantly here – their love translates into a willingness to do a prodigious quantity of learning. The idea that this love might be mobilized […]

April 30, 2014

“Throughout this essay, I use the word “mathematics” as a stand in for all disciplines. I use the word “math” to refer to the largely obsolete stuff they teach in schools.” Papert, S. (2006). After How Comes What. In R. K. Sawyer (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences (Vol. 2, pp. 581-586). Cambridge: […]

June 27, 2012

“It is self-indulgent of us as teachers to say that we can spend 3 hours a week with a student and give them wonderful experiences. What about the billion other children on the planet? What about the rest of the hours for that child? Our task is to identify powerful ideas that have been dis-empowered. […]

April 11, 2012

“Being a mathematician is no more definable as “knowing” a set of¬† of mathematical facts than being a poet is definable as knowing a set of linguistic facts. Some modern math ed reformers will give this statement a too easy assent with the comment: Yes, they must understand, not merely know. But this misses the […]

March 22, 2012

“In Mindstorms (Papert, 1980), I asked (choosing one out of a vast number of possible examples) why the quadratic equation of the parabola is included in the mathematical knowledge every educated citizen is expected to know. Saying that it is “good math” is not enough reason: The curriculum includes only a minute sliver of the […]

March 12, 2012

“Instead of making kids learn math let’s make math kids will learn.” Papert, S. (1996). “An Exploration in the Space of Mathematics Educations.” International Journal of Computers for Mathematical Learning, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 95-123. Tweet This Post

February 9, 2012

“What they teach in school, I like to call, “math,” as opposed to mathematics. Mathematics is one of the great jewels of achievement of the human mind. Math is a bunch of boring stuff that you make kids do with pencils and square papers and filling in numbers. There is no relation.” Jump to 19 […]

December 8, 2011

“A central idea behind our learning environments was that children would be able to use powerful ideas from mathematics and science as instruments of personal power. For example, geometry would become a means to create visual effects on a television screen. But achieving this often meant developing new topics in mathematics and science, an enterprise […]

October 25, 2011

“Let’s go back to Dewey for a moment. Intellectual growth, he often told us, must be rooted in the child’s experience. But surely one of the fundamental problems of the school is how to extend or use the child’s experience. It must be understood that “experience” does not mean mere busy work: two children who […]

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, […]