MAS.962 | Spring 2003 | Graduate

The Nature of Constructionist Learning


1 Registration The course description, reading list, and requirements.
2 Constructionism - Deep Dive

Papert, S. “Situating Constructionism.” In Constructionism. Edited by Papert and Harel. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1991.

———. “What is Logo? and Who Needs It?” Introduction to a Collection of Essays on LOGO Experiences in a Number of Different Countries by LCSI. 1999. (PDF -1.5 MB)

———. “What’s the Big Idea? Steps Toward a Pedagogy of Idea Power.” IBM Systems Journal 39, no. 3-4 (2000). (PDF)

Duckworth, E. “The Having of Wonderful Ideas.” Harvard Educational Review 42, no. 2 (May 1972): 217-231.

3 S. Papert - Foundational Work Papert, S. Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas. New York: Basic Books. 1980.
4 S. Papert - Foundational Work (cont.)

Mindstorms is a foundational work for constructionist learning researchers. Many of the later writing assignments will be based on Mindstorms. I would therefore recommend a close reading of this book.

Papert, S. Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas. New York: Basic Books. 1980.

5 J. Piaget

Piaget, J. The Construction of Reality in the Child. 1955.

———. Genetic Epistemology. 1968. [Piaget’s Biogrpahy]

Von Glasersfeld, E. Homage to Jean Piaget (1896-1980). 1997.

Papert, S. “The Conservation of Piaget: The Computer as Grist to the Constructivist Mill”. In Constructivism in the Computer Age. NY: Lawrence Erlbaum. 1988.

———. “Papert on Piaget."Time Magazine (March 29): 105. (Special issue on “The Century’s Greatest Minds.”)

Duckworth, E. The Having of Wonderful Ideas and Other Essays on Teaching and Learning. New York: Teachers College Press. 1996.

Gruber, H. E., and J. J. Voneche. “Introduction.” In The Essential Piaget. New York: Basic Books, 1977. pp. xvi-xliv.

6 L. S. Vygotsky, A. N. Leont’ev, and A. R. Luria

Vygotsky, L. S. “Tool and Symbol in Child Development.” Chapter 1, and “Interaction betweeen Learning and Development.” Chapter 6 in Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 1978. [Vygosty’s Biography]

Leont’ev, A. N. Activity, Consciousness, and Personality. 1978_._ [Leont’ev’s Biography]

Luria, A. R. Cognitive Development: Its Social and Cultural Foundations. 1976. [Luria’s Biography]

Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT). Theoretical framework for the research at Center for Activity Theory and Developmental Work Research at the University of Helsinki.

Cole, M., and J. V. Wertsch. “Beyond the individual-social antinomy in discussions of Piaget and Vygotsky.” Human-Development. 39, no. 5 (Sep-Oct 1996): 250-256.

7 J. Dewey Dewey, J. Experience and Education. New York: Collier Books. 1938. [Dewey’s profile on]
8 Lave and Wegner, Rogoff, Collins, Brown and Duguid

Lave, J., and E. Wenger. Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. NY: Cambridge University Press. 1991.

Hodges, D. “Participation as Dis-Identification With/in a Community of Practice.” XMCA Journal 5, no. 4 (2002).

Brown, J. S., A. Collins, and P. Duguid. “Situated Cognition and the Culture of Learning.” Educational Researcher 18, no. 1 (1989): 32-42.

Rogoff, Barbara. “Developing Understanding of the Idea of Communities of Learners.” Mind, Culture, and Activity 1, no. 4 (1994): 209-229.

9 I. Illich, P. Freire, E. Fromm and A. Falbel

Illich, I. Chapters 3 and 7 in Deschooling Society. New York, NY: World Perspectives, Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc. 1970. [Illich’s profile on]

Freire, P. Chapters 1-3 in Letters to Cristina: Reflections on My Life and Work. 1972. [Freire’s Biography from] [Freire’s profile on]

Fromm, E. Summerhill - A Radical Approach to Child Rearing. 1960.

Falbel, A. “Preface,” “Introduction,” “Conclusion,” and “Looking Back at Friskolen 70.” In Friskolen 70: An Ethnographically Informed Inquiry Into the Social Context of Learning. Cambridge, MA: MIT Media Laboratory Doctoral Dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 1989.

10 Research Tools and Methodology

Papert, S. “Computer Criticism vs. Technocentric Thinking.” Educational Researcher (January-February 1993).

We will also read a few short articles in response to Papert’s paper, Computer Cricitism vs. Technocentric Thinking.

Papert, S. “An Exploration in the Space of Mathematics Educations.” International Journal of Computers for Mathematical Learning 1, no. 1 (1996).

Buy at MIT Press ———. Foreword to Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams. MIT Press. 1994. ISBN: 9780262181624.

Ackermann, E. “From Decontextualized to Situated Knowledge: Revisiting Piaget’s Water-Level Experiment.” E&L Memo 5 (1990).

Resnick, M. “MultiLogo: A Study of Children and Concurrent Programming.” Interactive Learning Environments 1, no. 3 (1990).

———. “Technologies for Lifelong Kindergarten.” Educational Technology Research and Development 46, no. 4 (1998).

Resnick, M., R. Berg, and M. Eisenberg. “Beyond Black Boxes: Bringing Transparency and Aesthetics Back to Scientific Investigation.” Journal of the Learning Sciences 9, no. 1 (2000).

Martin, F., B. Mikhak, and B. Silverman. “MetaCricket: A designer’s kit for making computational devices.” IBM Systems Journal 39, no. 3-4 (2000).

11 Documentation, Reflection, and Evaluation Project Zero, and Reggio Children. Making Learning Visible: Children as Individual and Group Learners. Reggio Emilia, Italy: Reggio Children, 2002.
12 Diversity in learning

Papert, S. “Beyond the Cognitive: The Other Face of Mathematics.” Proceedings of the Nineteenth International Conference for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Plenary Lectures. 1986.

Turkle, S., and S. Papert. “Epistemological Pluralism.” Signs 16, no. 1 (1990).

Wilensky, U. “Abstract Meditations on the Concrete and Concrete Implications for Mathematics Education.” In Constructionism. Edited by I. Harel and S. Papert. Norwood, MA: Ablex Publishing. 1990.

Papert, S. Diversity in Learning: A Vision for the New Millennium. 1999.

Videotaped Speech for Vice President Al Gore’s Diversity Task Force.

Ackermann, E. “Piaget’s Constructivism, Papert’s Constructionism: What’s the difference?” 2001. An extended version of this paper appears in French. (PDF)

13 Communities of Learners

Shaw, A. Chapters 1 and 2 in Social Constructionism and the Inner City: Designing Environments for Social Development and Urban Renewal. Cambridge, MA: MIT Media Laboratory Doctoral Dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 1995.

Resnick, M., N. Rusk, and S. Cooke. “The Computer Clubhouse: Technological Fluency in the Inner City.” In High Technology and Low-Income Communities. Edited by D. Schon, B. Sanyal, and W. Mitchell. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1998, pp. 266-286.

Papert, S., and D. Cavallo. The Learning Hub: Entry Point to Twenty First Century Learning. 2000.

Bruckman, A. “Co-Evolution of Technological Design and Pedagogy in an Online Learning Community.” To appear in Designing Virtual Communities in the Service of Learning. Edited by Sasha Barab, Rob, and James Gray. Cambridge University Press, 2002. (Forthcoming 2002.) (PDF)

Bruckman, A., and M. Resnick. “The MediaMOO Project: Constructionism and Professional Community.” Convergence 1, no. 1 (1995).

Bers, M. Identity Construction Environments: Developing Personal And Moral Values Through The Design Of A Virtual City.” The Journal of the Learning Sciences 10, no. 4. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., 2001. (PDF - 1.4 MB)

Borovoy, R., B. Silverman, T. Gorton, J. Klann, M. Notowidigdo, B. Knep, and M. Resnick. Folk Computing: Revisiting Oral Tradition as a Scaffold for Co-Present Communities." Proceedings of the CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in March 2001. New York: ACM. 2001. (PDF - 1.0 MB)

14 Final Project and Paper Presentations (I)  
15 Final Project and Paper Presentations (II)  

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2003
Learning Resource Types
Projects with Examples