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Mathetics (Learning and Mathematics)

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Author:Seymour Papert; Math Forum
Description: In Chapters 5, 6, and 7 of his 1993 book, The Children's Machine, Papert examines the art of learning, a topic that he contends has been widely ignored by educational researchers and practitioners. In Chapter 5 he introduces the concept of 'mathetics', which he defines as the art or act of learning, and discusses the issues that surround it in the school setting, theoretically, and in light of his own experiences. Chapter 6 presents a series of case studies that build upon and draw from his discussion of mathetics, and which demonstrate the utility of computers in promoting flexible, personal, and connected learning. Chapter 7 is a more theoretical discussion of instructionist versus constructionist viewpoints, as well as a defense of concrete knowledge and thought in the face of educational trends that favor abstract reasoning. Overall, Papert stresses support for personal variation in learning styles, and for the increased acceptance by schools of the ability of children to learn without assistance. A geometry.pre-college newsgroup discussion.

Levels: Elementary, Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12)
Languages: English
Resource Types: Discussion Archives, Articles
Math Ed Topics: Psychological/Affective Issues, Computers, Psychological Research, Constructivism

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