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Teaching Children Thinking Article

, MIT, United States

CITE Journal Volume 5, Number 3, ISSN 1528-5804 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)


The phrase “technology and education” usually means inventing new gadgets to teach the same old stuff in a thinly disguised version of the same old way. Moreover, if the gadgets are computers, the same old teaching becomes incredibly more expensive and biased towards its dullest parts, namely the kind of rote learning in which measurable results can be obtained by treating the children like pigeons in a Skinner box. The purpose of this essay is to present a grander vision of an educational system in which technology is used not in the form of machines for processing children but as something the child himself will earn to manipulate, to extend, to apply to projects, thereby gaining a greater and more articulate mastery of the world, a sense of the power of applied knowledge and a self-confidently realistic image of himself as an intellectual agent. Stated more simply, I believe with Dewey, Montessori, and Piaget that children learn by doing and by thinking about what they do. And so the fundamental ingredients of educational innovation must be better things to do and better ways to think about oneself doing these things.


Papert, S. (2005). Teaching Children Thinking. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 5(3), 353-365. Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).