How We Think

2007 January 1

I'm trying to end the year on a high note, but it's not so easy due to the current hospitalization of a noted colleague at MIT named Seymour Papert.

To occupy my mind and to build a better appreciation of Papert's contributions, I (tried to) read John Dewey's How We Think. It's a slender volume of 224 pages, but it certainly packs an intellectual punch. Lucky for me, Dewey has left many marginalia throughout the book to help non-theory folks like myself decipher his writings.

Here in pages 188 to 196, Dewey exhorts that facts-based learning in schools is insufficient, and that learning how to think happens best when actually doing things -- or as they say "learning by doing." Papert's contribution to the education field follows with Papert's adherence to the constructionist "learning by making"approach.

Papert's current medical status can be reviewed here, and you can sign a get-well card I created for well-wishers around the world.