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

Chapter 2 has a lot of interesting statements made in it that would be great to see carried out in our society.  On page 24, Papert talks about Piaget taking control of his own development at a very young age and how this very act was a sign of individuals defining and redefining their roles.  It takes a very bright and motivated person to realize that what is going on in their present is not what they want.  A lot of times, students today go through the motions of school and don’t question whether the education they are receiving is the best possible.  Maybe we should try to provide more opportunities for our students to become directly involved in the decisions about their education.

On the very next page there is a short sentence that says, “Children are not easily duped.” and that statement speaks volumes.  Students can pick up easily on whether something is practical and has some meaning in their lives and whether they are just simply going through the motions of instruction.  I have been guilty of not finding ways to make my instruction relevant to students, but I do my best to find one way to increase the appeal.  One thing we need to do is establish relevance in everything that we teach to our students and create learning environments that tap into their interests.

On page 28, Papert discusses how we have two different types of brains and how learning applies to this ideas.  He states that there has always been a way that School believes we learn and another side that says we don’t always learn in one particular way.  In a traditional sense, the School theory of learning could mean that we all enter a classroom participate in activities designed for learning, and come out with knowledge about a particular concept.  Yes, learning does occur in this type of structure, but it is certainly not limited to it.  We learn in a whole of different ways that are outside of the perspective School has on learning.  We learn from our peers, parents, community leaders, etc. about the world around us.  Theories are designed by some of the most intelligent individuals in the world to try and improve our educational status on learning.  However, what we need to realize is that over time those theories may evolve into something more or new theories will be developed that will replace the thinking of yesteryear.

A lot of interesting info in this book.  On to Chapter 3!


One Response to “Thoughts on Papert’s “Children’s Machine”: Chapter 2”

  1. We definitely need new educational theories, because the kids today have been raised in a totally different environment from us.

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