[Squeakland] Re:Can the American Mind be Opened?

Richard Karpinski dick at cfcl.com
Fri Nov 16 19:44:36 PST 2007

Thanks, mmille10, for an interesting discussion. I recall an  
allegation that ninety percent of everything is crap. Further, I  
personally recall that if even ten percent of my classmates were  
interested and engaged in any particular class, then it was a  
delightful exception to the general rule.

Indeed, it is my understanding, perhaps shallow and incomplete, that  
the constructionist/constructivist intent behind OLPC is to counter  
that trend toward useless education by getting students engaged in  
individual or team projects. With the engagement comes attention and  
intention which together make the learning both deeper and broader as  
well as very much faster than the typical classroom setting  

One hopes that every level of education fosters a love of reading,  
thinking, conversing, and acting in its participants, no matter how  
often that turns out not to happen. Literacy, numeracy, and critical  
thought all demand bi-directionality. One must not only read but also  
write, not only be able to calculate but also choose to calculate  
about new topics, not only think and reason but also act in support  
of those conclusions.

Otherwise, one is a mere observer without a life of her own worth  
living, worth the air breathed and the space taken in the bio-sphere.

Fortunately, in the first world at least, we have convenient access  
to tremendous educational resources outside the formal institutions  
putatively dedicated to that purpose. That access is exactly what we  
hope to spread into and outside of the formal institutions of  
education outside the first world, is it not?

No wonder politicians are a bit leery of enthusiastic support for  
this effort in their own domains. It could foster uncontrolled  
activities by students and even teachers. Pretty scary.

Richard Karpinski, Nitpicker       dick at cfcl.com
148 Sequoia Circle, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Home +1 707-546-6760     Cell +1 707-228-9716

ps Put "nitpicker" in the subject line to get past my spam filters.

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