Thoughts on Papert’s Children’s Machine: Chapter 1

From my understanding, I believe that the Schoolers are the folks who acknowledge that there are problems in the educational system, but are maybe not too willing to take the initiative to start working on how to deal with the issues.  The Yearners are the folks who are taking the bull by the horns and speaking out about the issues in education and taking action.  Some parents who are considered Yearners even go so far as to withdraw their children from public school and home school them.

On page 5 of Papert’s Children’s Machine, there is a statement that says, “Video games teach children what computers teach adults—that some forms of learning are fast pace, immensely compelling, and rewarding.”  Some adults may still consider video games to be only for entertainment purposes, but they cannot deny the fact that they provide learning opportunities for kids to think in new ways to solve problems.  Isn’t that one of the goals we have for our kids in the future:  To have them understand the problems of the world and think of creative solutions?  I’m not going to start another pro video game rant here, but it is an interesting subject to look at.

Page 10 discusses literacy and how it is not something that is merely the ability to read and write, but instead thinking differently than you once have in the past.  I know we have already discussed literacy and its impact on eduction, but I am going to go back to it briefly.  If you look back in time at how people have solved problems they have had to adapt to the conditions presented to them and find the best course of action possible to take.  The Greeks did it with the Trojan Horse to win Troy, FDR did it to bring the country out of the Great Depression, and many others have too.  Thinking outside of the box brings about solutions to insurmountable problems.  This is skill that all should stribe to obtain to be truly literate.

The first chapter of Papert’s book was interesting, to say the least, and I’m looking forward to the rest of it.

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2 Responses to “Thoughts on Papert’s Children’s Machine: Chapter 1”

  1. After Dr. Miller’s class last semester, we all learned that there is some educational value to playing video games. I still don’t know how my three-year old figures out how to play games when he can’t even read yet.

  2. I had Dr. Miller’s class a couple semesters ago too. When I first went in to the class, I had the most negative attitude toward video games, but that class allowed me to see the positive side of games. My husband is an extreme game player so he was tickled that I was taking such a class. 🙂


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