Project-based learning

Seymour Papert (of “mindstorms” and “Logo” fame) has produced a great summary of his thinking regarding project-based learning at Papert has some particular words to say regarding the inclusion of mathematics and ICT into project-based learning.
For me, project-based learning as described in Papert’s article is the epitome of how learning in the “real world” occurs. It is authentic, ownership of the process and outcomes is high, time on task is generally high, motivation also high etc etc.
The final part of Papert’s article interests me particularly – it relates to vision, and how we must act to reconcile our dreams about the future with the realities of today’s classrooms – something we should be thinking about in relation to the current discussions in NZ about the schooling strategy.

2 thoughts on “Project-based learning

  1. Excellent!! I’ve never seen a Papert interview before!

    As an aside, my very favourite quote is from Seymour Papert (with David Cavallo) and also refers to vision:

    “The approach of the 21st century has brought a chorus of pronouncements that “the information society” both requires and makes possible new forms of education.

    We totally agree with this. But we do not agree that tardiness in translating these declarations into reality can be ascribed, as it often is, to such factors as the lack of money, technology, standards or teacher training. Obviously there is need for improvement in all of those areas. But the primary lack is something very different — a shortage of bold, coherent, inspiring yet realistic visions of what education could be like 10 and 20 years from now.

    What we mean by vision is not a blueprint but a compelling view of the “look and feel” of the future — its needs, its opportunities and how we can prepare ourselves now to act on them. Vision allows us to look beyond the problems that beset us today, giving direction to our passage into the future. Even more important, vision energizes that passage by inspiring and guiding us into action.”

    More here:

  2. We are hearing a lot at the moment about vision and in reading Lias’s contribution it has just struck me that what many of us are crying out for is someone to demonstrate the way ahead. Yes we need vision and visionaries and we need the challenge to think out for ourselves our own vision but we also need practical examples of “bold, coherent, inspiring yet realistic visions of what education could be like”.

    Very often we can make significant progress very quickly when we are shown a model. Many teachers, I think, are feeling confused as to the way ahead in NZ education because there is so much discussion about the problems and failures without too many solutions being offered.

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