[Squeakland] More thoughts - Re: Demoing Etoys to kids

Bill Kerr billkerr at gmail.com
Mon Aug 13 08:55:11 PDT 2007

On 8/13/07, Alan Kay <alan.kay at squeakland.org> wrote:

> Some advice about teaching geometry to children. It's possible that the
> teacher may not understand geometry very well (and you didn't indicate what
> she meant by "geometry").

so ... what is geometry?

wikipedia has a comprehensive account of the evolution of geometry from the
relatively static Euclidian account to a more dynamic subject (algebraic,
differential etc.)
and also a great  section on Thales, including his method of measuring the
height of the pyramids

Eratosthenes worked out the Earth's circumference by observing the sun's
altitude at different locations

The transformation of Euclidian geomety / conception of space (dominant for
2000 years) into new approaches is a nice illustration that everything
changes and that we need more dynamic media to understand and represent
those changes. Let's hope we don't have to wait 2000 years for late binding
to become the dominant paradigm :-(

That was my interpretation of alan's remarks that it might be best not to
use computers while teaching  geometry to year 3's, but with the implication
that computers are necessary for when it becomes more dynamic

(btw Alan's graphics didn't come through at the archive
http://squeakland.org/pipermail/squeakland/2007-August/003711.html which
might account for Stef's query)

Bill Kerr
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