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RIP Seymour Papert.

I read the news today with a heavy heart. I’ve only been training for a year, and thinking about teaching actively for a few years before that, but I have come to know quite a lot about Professor Papert, and his mentor Jean Piaget.

Indeed, this paragraph is straight from my recent PGCE dissertation, submitted in May this year:

Often considered the father of the Maker Movement, MIT Professor Seymour Papert (b 1928) was a protégée of Piaget, having studied under him in Geneva. Papert’s learning theory of “constructionism” extends Piaget’s constructivism to add “the idea that [knowledge-building] 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.” (Harel & Papert, 1991).

I hope to continue using the teachings of Papert and Piaget, encouraging young minds to contstruct knowledge as they construct gadgets and programs.

I am off to buy or borrow “Mindstorms” for my summer reading pile.

By mraharrisoncs

Head of Computing, Manchester.

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