[IAEP] foundational skills in literacy and numeracy

Alan Kay alan.nemo at yahoo.com
Sun Jan 4 13:05:50 EST 2009

Bill --

Also check out mathematicians turned great math teachers (such as Mary Laycocke) who have spent decades learning how to get young children to learn "real math". Much of this would be called "constructionalistic" (by those who call themselves "constructionalists").

Also, I have given an account in several places of some of the wonderful teaching approaches of first grade teacher Julia Nishijima (when she was at the LA Open Magnet School). These include setting up an environment in which children construct and really do discover 1st and 2nd order growth laws as arithmetic progressions. Most of her (and Mary Laycocke's) stuff was done before computers (and doesn't need computers) but can later be enhanced by computers.

The biggest limitation by far here is not the knowledge of how to do this stuff, but the fact that most elementary school teachers have essentially no sense of math, and very few of these really want to learn anything about math.



From: Bill Kerr <billkerr at gmail.com>
To: iaep <iaep at lists.sugarlabs.org>
Sent: Sunday, January 4, 2009 9:45:04 AM
Subject: Re: [IAEP] foundational skills in literacy and numeracy

I'm not aware of anything that Papert wrote about teaching
foundational skills like number (meaning integers) or basic literacy using phonics. 
self correction:
The Progressive Construction of Mind by Robert Lawler June 1980 (Logo Memo 57, MIT AI Lab) was probably supervised by Papert

Naturalistic study of his two children aged 6 (Miriam) and 8 (Robby) includes plenty of observations about how the kids learnt addition, subtraction etc. I need to reread this.

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