June 5, 2012

“What is our fight really about? My reference to the Soviet Union comes from recognizing events there, not only as the most significant process of radical change in the world today, but also as one whose central issues are closely related to those that will dominate any deep change in education. What has happened in the Soviet Union is the collapse of a political and economic structure that invites descriptions like hierarchical, centralized, depersonalized. The confrontation I see in epistemology invites similar description as hierarchical – centralized-distanced vs. heterarchical decentralized-personal conceptions of knowledge. The confrontation in education reflects both the political/social and the epistemological confrontations in the battle between curriculum-centered, teacher-driven forms of instruction, and student-centered developmental approaches to intellectual growth.”

Papert. S. (1990, July). Perestroika and Epistemological Politics. Speech presented at the World Conference on Computers in Education. Sydney, Australia.

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