Acting as a studio and lab teacher requires providing not only materials, inspiration, and a problem to tackle, but also a bit of redirecting student desire to focus on the end product. Conversely, the path of a creative thinker can be a non-linear one, resembling alphabet soup more than a direct path from A to B. This process requires periodic realignments, or, if the maker chooses, redirections: either edit, or continue. There are no mistakes on this journey, just decisions.
Pedagogy and Theory
To resolve the teacher-student contradiction, to ex- change the role of depositor, prescriber, domesticator, for the role of student among students would be to undermine the power of oppression and serve the cause of liberation.
It's not an easy reading book for me but this book kept me going on and on, I can't stop reading this.
"To achieve this praxis, however, it is necessary to trust in the oppressed and in their ability to reason. Whoever lacks this trust will fail to initiate (or will abandon) dialogue, reflection and communication, and will fall into using slogans, communiques, nomologues, and instrucionis. superficial conversions to the cause of liberation carry this danger."
Seymour Papert was definitely ahead of his time when he wrote mindstorms in the 80s. Unfortunately he still seems to be ahead of his time some 30 years later. Instead of hands-on and minds-on education, the current trends in education have pushed us towards accountability, standards and a common framework for education.
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.
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.