Constructionism: Research Reports and Essays, 1985-1990

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Idit Harel, Seymour Papert
Ablex Publishing Corporation, 1991 - Education - 518 pages

In 1985 the Media Lab was created at MIT to advance the idea that computation would give rise to a new science of expressive media. Within the media lab, the Epistemology and Learning group extends the traditional definition of media by treating as expressive media materials with which children play and learn. The Group's work follows a paradigm for learning research called Constructionism. Several of the chapters directly address the theoretical formulation of Constructionism, and others describe experimental studies which enrich and confirm different aspects of the idea. Thus this volume can be taken as the most extensive and definitive statement to date of this approach to media and education research and practice. This book is structured around four major themes: learning through designing and programming; epistemological styles in constructionist learning, children and cybernetics; and video as a research tool for exploring and documenting constructionist environments.

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Perestroika and Epistemological Politics
The Computer as a Convivial Tool

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About the author (1991)

Seymour Aubrey Papert was born in Pretoria, South Africa on February 29, 1928. He received doctorates from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and the University of Cambridge in England. After his doctoral work, he spent four years at the University of Geneva exploring both mathematics and children's learning as a researcher for Jean Piaget. In 1964, he joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty and immediately delved into artificial intelligence research with Marvin Minsky. He was a co-director of the renowned Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Papert and Minsky published Perceptrons: An Introduction to Computational Geometry in 1969. Papert foresaw children using computers as instruments for learning and enhancing creativity well before the advent of the personal computer. In the late 1960's, he created a computer programming language, called Logo, to teach children how to use computers. He wrote several other books including Mindstorms: Children, Computers and Powerful Ideas and Constructionism written with Idit Harel. Papert retired from the faculty at M.I.T. in 1996, but continued to work there as a lecturer and consultant to doctoral students. He died from complications of a series of kidney and bladder infections on July 31, 2016 at the age of 88.

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