Born February 29, 1928 in Pretoria, South Africa is a mathematician and one of the early pioneers of artificial intelligence. In addition, he is internationally recognized as the seminal thinker regarding computers and pedagogy for children. A mathematician by training, his collaboration with Jean Piaget at the University of Geneva led him to consider using mathematics in the service of understanding how children can learn and think. Papert was born and educated in South Africa, where he was an active participant in the anti-apartheid movement. In the early 1960s, Papert came to MIT, where, with Marvin Minsky, he founded the Artificial Intelligence Lab and co-authored their seminal work Perceptrons (1970). He is also the author of Mindstorms: Children Computers and Powerful Ideas (1980), and The Children’s Machine: Rethinking School in the Age of the Computer (1993). He has written numerous articles about mathematics, artificial intelligence, education, learning, and thinking. Dr. Papert’s latest book is The Connected Family: Bridging the Digital Generation Gap (1996). (from official MIT biography). Papert was also a cofounder of the MIT Media Lab, longtime director for the Media Lab’s Epistemology and Learning Group, later the Future of Learning Group and the first LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research at MIT. He was a driving force behind Maine’s law providing every 7th & 8th grader with a laptop and the One Laptop Per Child Foundation. Dr. Papert is widely considered the “father of educational computing,” the originator of the learning theory, constructionism and served as inspiration for the movement known as one-to-one computing.
OVERVIEW OF THE THEORY
Constructionism is a constructivist learning theory and theory of instruction. It states that building knowledge occurs best through building things that are tangible an sharable “ Constructionism (in the context of learning) is the idea that people learn effectively through making things. Constructionism is connected with experiential learning and builds on some of the ideas of Jean Piaget.”
“ Constructionism--the N word as opposed to the V word--shares constructivism's connotation of learning as "building knowledge structures" irrespective of the circumstances of the learning. It then adds the idea that this happens especially felicitously in a context where the learner is consciously engaged in constructing a public entity, whether it's a sand castle on the beach or a theory of the universe. ” (Papert, 1991b). “ Constructivism, in a nutshell, states that children are the builders of their own cognitive tools, as well as of their external realities. In other words, knowledge and the world are both construed and interpreted through action, and mediated through symbol use. Each gains existence and form through the construction of the other. [..] Because of his focus on learning through making (on could say learning as design) Papert's 'constructionism' sheds light on how people's ideas get formed and transformed when expressed through different media, when actualized in particular contexts, when worked out by individual minds. The emphasis has shifted from general laws of development to individuals' conversation with their own representations, artifacts, or objects-to-think with.”
Constructionist learning is inspired by the constructivist theory that individual learners construct mental models to understand the world around them. However, constructionism holds that learning can happen most effectively when people are also active in making tangible objects in the real world. In this sense, constructionism is connected with experiential learning, and builds on Jean Piaget's epistemological theory of constructivism.
Influence of genetic inheritance
Social influences on communal and individual life
Influences Conventional psychology
APPLICATION IN THE CLASSROOM