May 30, 2011

“The fifth big idea is taking time – the proper time for the job. Many students at school get used to being told every five minutes or every hour: do this, then do that, now do the next thing. If someone isn’t telling them what to do they get bored. Life is not like that. […]

May 26, 2011

“The fourth big idea is learning to learn. Many students get the idea that “the only way to learn is by being taught.” This is what makes them fail in school and in life. Nobody can teach you everything you need to know. You have to take charge of your own learning.” Papert, S. (1999) […]

May 25, 2011

“The third big idea is hard fun. We learn best and we work best if we enjoy what we are doing. But fun and enjoying doesn’t mean “easy.” The best fun is hard fun. Our sports heroes work very hard at getting better at their sports. The most successful carpenter enjoys doing carpentry. The successful […]

May 24, 2011

“The second big idea is technology as building material. If you can use technology to make things you can make a lot more interesting things. And you can learn a lot more by making them. This is especially true of digital technology: computers of all sorts including the computer-controlled Lego in our Lab.” Papert, S. […]

May 23, 2011

In 1999, Seymour Papert embarked on his last ambitious institutional research project when he created the constructionist, technology-rich, project-based,  multi-aged Constructionist Learning Laboratory inside of Maine’s troubled prison for teens, The Maine Youth Center. Shortly after the start of  the three year project, Papert outlined the Eight Big Ideas behind the Constructionist Learning Laboratory. Although […]

April 18, 2011

“Once I was alerted to the concept of “hard fun” I began listening for it and heard it over and over. It is expressed in many different ways, all of which all boil down to the conclusion that everyone likes hard challenging things to do. But they have to be the right things matched to […]

March 14, 2011

“If you need to know whether drug X reduces blood-pressure, you may fairly safely draw a negative conclusion from a “treatment model” experiment in which hospitalized patients were given X and no change in blood-pressure was observed. On the other hand, you would not deduce that drug Y does not increase fertility from the simple […]

January 27, 2011

“We emphasize that it is possible to create activities that connect many different students’ interests to various curricular areas, and to connect “separate” disciplines to each other. Our goal was, and continues to be, to create learning situations in which connections are allowed to develop freely and to move in any direction, albeit many or […]