[IAEP] Into the classroom.

Bill Kerr billkerr at gmail.com
Sat Aug 9 19:30:06 EDT 2008

On Sat, Aug 9, 2008 at 9:51 PM, Walter Bender <walter.bender at gmail.com>wrote:

> > marvin minsky who don't use the C___ word
> Marvin used to use spell-check not as a way to find misspellings, but
> as a way to find to words not in the dictionary so that he could avoid
> them: those words tend to lead to confusion. This would apply to
> connectivism, connectionism, constructivism, etc.
> I think we need to come up with a clear, purposeful story, not because
> teachers are simple, but because the complexity of getting any change
> into any bureaucracy is difficult.

hi walter,

actually marvin invented has new words to describe aspects of how we might
think that are not explained clearly with existing words, eg.
imprimer -
"An imprimer is one of those persons to whom a child has become attached"
"Caregiver" is not sufficient since attachments can form without physical
The idea of learning by being "reinforced" by success or by "trial and
error" does not explain how we develop completely new goals or "values" or
"ideals". It would be potentially dangerous if strangers could easily alter
our higher level goals

panalogy -(parallel analogy)
"Charles gave Joan the book"
Physical Realm - book moves from Charles to Joan
Social Realm - is Charles generous or hoping to ingratiate himself?
Dominion Realm - Joan now controls the book
3 meanings of give which may be reflected in how things are connected in our

one problem with the constructivism word (I think invented by Piaget) is
that along the way (or has it always been like that?) it has lost a clear
meaning - this might have happened when it was co-opted by some academics
and education departments to reframe curriculum guidelines under the banner
of social constructivism, which sometimes means throw away science, maths
content and replace it with fuzzy socially "meaningful" process skills (eg.
debate about the pros and cons of nuclear reactors but don't bother about
how they work)

Is papert's new word constructionism (n not v) still meaningful and useful?
If the meaning has been lost or diluted then is it a useful exercise to try
to recover it? I think it is - the new minsky words show that we do need new
words to describe things that are not clearly described by our existing
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