Why Seymour Papert Still Matters

Lego building

Back in the 1990′s, Constructivist Seymour Papert (father of Lego Mindstorms), wrote and spoke about  learning as opposed to being taught.  He showed how technology provides pathways for learning where  instructors learn right along with children. As brilliant as Seymour Papert is, his ideas haven’t penetrated the teacher->student relationship in public schools.  His visionary model for learning is safely held at arm’s length as teachers dominate rooms of submissive students who stop learning and start being taught. Fast-forward from the 1990′s to present-day where tablets and other mobile devices are the defacto standard technology demanded by children.  Instead of mobile devices being welcomed with open arms in classrooms across the country, teachers ban devices and punish students.

Now, more than ever, we need to embrace Seymour Papert’s vision for learning.  His vision for technology’s role in learning has never been more relevant.  Yet ,the broken education system still has teachers using the “sage on the stage” model.  Even many home learners slog through standardized curriculum to quantify and qualify what is important information.

Everything in the world is important.  Let children use their natural curiosity to decide where to start and what to learn.  They’ll read because they want to read, research because they’re curious, and calculate because they have a burning desire to build their dreams.  Let’s invest in kids’ natural curiosity, adopt a project-based, child-led approach to learning, and empower kids’s dreams with a helping hand and sound advice.  The alternative is to continue providing a one-size-fits-all, teacher-knows-all, last century approach best left to history books.  Thanks to The Daily Papert for sharing the following Seymour Papert video:

Papert on Teacher Training & Learning from ihor charischak on Vimeo.

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