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RE: making constructivism simple


From: henry taylor (tortolitascom_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon May 20 2002 - 08:15:22 PDT

> This is really what we are discussing, isn't it. How
> to do this. But Henry, regardless of the journalistic
> aspect of the article, how many first graders in your
> school are working with these concepts in an
> inquiry-based setting?

First, no one is doing anything like Papert's project and maybe I'd be
more impressed if I were involved in something like it.

Second, ALL 50 of them... but not in all contexts. And I'm still not
terribly impressed with what we are doing, sad to say.

The fascinating thing is that the system is historically modeled on the
factory model and while the resulting school practice is anything but
constructivist the original 19th century factorys the model is based on
were, in practical terms, quite effective constructivist environments in
terms of educating factory workers. Out of the factories came labor
activists and labor movements that changed the country and they learned
their politics and economics on the factory floor and after work.
Inquiry-based setting? Not intentionally.

Maybe we should stop thinking of the students as "the product" and give
them the respect a laborer deserves.