Seymour Papert "Mind Fusion" and the current education - Part 1


by Mario Parade -

Seymour Papert was and is still ahead of its time . This speaks for the book, unfortunately, many of his ideas are not yet arrived today in many schools. Although the technological development are becoming increasingly a more and more importance in everyday .

I'm currently working in a Montesorri school here in Potsdam and among other things i'm responsible for the subjects of mathematics and physics in the 5th and 6th grade ( Germany ). In this age is immensely important that the students learn and understand the next abstraction level in mathematics. This means the students have to understand analytical things like functions or variables. According to Seybert, I think this step comes to late for this students. He shows in his book that this can be done differently.

Unfortunately, the reality is that Piaget ways of thinking are only rarely addressed in the classroom. this sounds very pessimistic, but I prefer an optimistic approach to this problem.

For me it is very important to the student to collect from their current thoughts and integrate them into projects. Examples are: The students talk about their new smartphone-apps, they also able to program their own apps. / They talk about new gadgets, they can create her own self-designed gadgets ...

These include for me also projects where multiple subjects play a role. In our School we work not only at the school but also in groups in the FabLab and a farm. This school has some additional agriculture land outside of our city. this area is managed by the students. i think this stroke of luck for some projects. We construct together greenhouses and build prototypes of irrigation systems . Here, the argument put forward by Papert idea of debugging plays a very important role. While it is not always easy to reach a high motivation level after the first operation of an idea, the mindfusion a book is a good source of inspiration. One important thing for me (described in the book) that the student think and learn in the so-called "debugging mode". This includes cyclical improvement steps of a project and the ability to present a project that others can understand it.


Mario Parade

FabLab Potsdam


Sylvia Martinez's picture

Hi Mario,

It's great the way you connected what you read in Papert, what you know about Piaget, and your own classroom. Did the reading inspire you to try anything new or different? Would love to hear about that.