Reading Mindstorms should be inspirational. I love reading anything that Seymour Papert has written. His words and his vision have always rung true for me and have always motivated and inspired me to infuse the practice he calls "Constructionism" into my classroom. Then what it is about this time through the book that I have been left with such a grey and pessimistic feeling about everything that is the state of public education 35 years after Papert wrote Mindstorms?
The book talks about education and computer used as instrument to help cognitive development. Papert writes a critic declaration about the using of LOGO language in the mathematics education for children and the positive impact caused by this process. Despite it was written in 80s, we can affirm that the subject is present, and although we use computers at school nowadays, the book shows a little-explored way: The child as protagonist and author.
Commentary on Mindstorms by Seymour Papert: Children, Computers and Powerful Ideas
“Certain uses of very powerful computational technology and computational ideas can provide children with new possibilities for learning, thinking, and growing emotionally as well as cognitively.”
In the two years that I have been testing this curriculum, I have noticed that not only have my students (including the self-proclaimed “bad at math” students), but I too am developing a new love and appreciation of math through the work done in our fabrication lab, or FabLab. Having read Mindstorms; Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas by Seymore Papert I was reminded of my new found “crush” on mathematics.
I like when Seymour explain about the process to develop his writing as the analogy to new perspective to look at learning. The first 'unacceptable draft' that leads to revision with 'critical eyes' and kind of self-assessment and develop work from feedback into presentable form, these steps made me look at the learning process in the different way. Looking at the mistakes as the opportunity to learn and develop not just for marking as failures is really the key change.