Papert’s Mindstorms

Academic Computing

Seymour Papert was a driving force behind the LOGO programming language/environment. In 1980 (some 33 years ago!) he published a book entitled “Mindstorms” in which he set out the case for LOGO and the power of introducing children to programming. I’ve recently read it, and this post has some brief thoughts on a few salient points from the book.

No right or wrong

One attribute of teaching children programming that Papert picks up on is one I have heard several computing teachers relate to me recently: the chance to be wrong — the inclusion of failure as a normal, acceptable part of education. As Papert says:

For example, many children are held back in their learning because they have a model in which you have either “got it” or “got it wrong”. But when you learn to program a computer you almost never get it right the first time… The…

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