[Its.an.education.project] An "About" statement? (Was: untangling constructionism)
billkerr at gmail.com
Mon May 5 05:24:04 CEST 2008
thanks for the feedback walter and edward on my summary suggestions for
"About". Here's an attempt to improve it further (numbered only for
convenience of discussion):
"it's an education project"
1) Learning practice and theory needs to evolve as technology evolves, so we
need to discuss constructionism and other learning theories and how they
work in practice
2) We need to build a richer dialectic between the overlapping communities
of software developers and educators
3) Sugar software development can serve as a tangible structural
4) understanding Suagr's educational importance is a current focus
of this discussion list
1) indicates that this list *will* discuss learning theories and not only
constructionism (previously it was just a feel good motherhood statement)
2) "bridge" is replaced by "richer dialectic"
- dialectic means interpenetration with the prospect of transformation
- "richer" implies that there is already some mutually beneficial
dialogue b/w the two communities
- "overlapping" means that developers already have opinions on
education and that some educators may already be developers or can
3 and 4) no change from Walter's wording
I agree with Edward that the "bridge" metaphor is limited - as well as the
reason Edward gives (that a bridge assumes permanent separation) there is
also the reason that bridges tend to be built from known point A to known
point B - you can't build a bridge to a destination you haven't arrived at
wrt Edward's list of constructionist software:
a) we shouldn't be prescriptive in an "about" statement
b) you can also have constructionist learning without any software at all -
if we are going to talk about what Sugar and the OLPC is good for then that
implies talking about things that it is not good for, ie. which can be
better done without computers
On Mon, May 5, 2008 at 6:32 AM, Edward Cherlin <echerlin at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sun, May 4, 2008 at 5:43 AM, Walter Bender <walter.bender at gmail.com>
> > Here's my massaging of Bill's summary
> > "it's an education project"
> > Summary:
> > * Learning practice and theory needs to evolve as technology evolves
> > * There needs to be a bridge connecting the community of
> > developers with the community of educators
> I dislike the bridge metaphor. I wrote a paper for a Unicode
> conference on "Obliterating the Digital Divide" because bridging a
> divide still leaves people on the wrong side of it.
> We need more people who are both educators and developers. Now that we
> have powerful development tools that teachers can learn and students
> can use, there is no excuse for the separation. In the long run, we
> need every teacher and every student to be a developer, and we need
> every developer to be a lifelong student and a mentor to others.
> > * Sugar software development can serve as a tangible structural
> > * understanding Sugar's educational importance is a current focus
> > of this discussion list
> We also need to be aware of other Constructivist and Constructionist
> possibilities. I would like to start a Best Practices list, which I
> suppose I will do in a minute on the Laptop Wiki, to include the best
> tools and learning materials we collectively know of.
> I nominate, in addition to Sugar, Python, and Smalltalk/Squeak/Etoys,
> the programming languages.
> * Forth: Best books, Starting Forth and Thinking Forth, by Leo Brodie.
> Used in Open Firmware. The most compact, conceptually simple, and
> extensible programming language. The Forth word 'see' allows a user to
> inspect the source code of any Forth word.
> see 2dup
> : 2dup
> dup dup ;
> *LISP/Scheme: Best books: The Little LISPer/Schemer, The Seasoned
> Schemer, The Reasoned Schemer, by Daniel P. Friedman and others:
> Anatomy of Lisp by John Allen.
> *APL/J There are numerous math books written using APL and more
> recently J as the executable notation for every math statement. Ken
> Iverson, the inventor of APL, wrote textbooks on Arithmetic, Algebra,
> and Calculus. APL has successfully been used in first grade
> arithmetic. I also have copies of books on probability, statistics,
> cryptography, computer graphics, and computer design using APL.
> Forth, LISP, APL, and Smalltalk are the most important programming
> language paradigms. They are Turing-equivalent, but so different in
> form, and so simple in concept and syntax, that I can say that nobody
> understands the possibilities of computers who does not understand all
> of them in some depth.
> * The Natural Way to Draw: A Working Plan for Art Study, by Kimon
> Nicolaides . Whole Earth Review : "...not only the best how-to book on
> drawing, it is the best how-to book we've seen on any subject."
> Add Montessori, Gattegno, and many others. Think about engaging all
> students to be learning researchers, able to discover in general and
> in every individual case the best learning/discovery/mastery
> strategies for every subject.
> > -walter
> Edward Cherlin
> End Poverty at a Profit by teaching children business
> "The best way to predict the future is to invent it."--Alan Kay
> Its.an.education.project mailing list
> Its.an.education.project at tema.lo-res.org
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