Saturday, April 22, 2006

Pedagogy of Curiosity

A discussion between Paulo Freire and Seymour Papert regarding the future of school. So much good stuff within this discussion between these two great thinkers. I believe it is best if you read the whole transcript yourself and/or watch the videos. What I have included here are what I consider the highlights of this discussion;
The pedagogy of the question, not the answer.
His (Papert) analysis seems to be metaphysical and mine (Freire) is politico-historical.
In general, the discussion is centered around three simple stages of learning;
  1. learning through exploration (baby to toddler)
  2. learning by being told (k12 schooling)
  3. back to exploration (later university and beyond)
Both Freire and Papert agree to these three stages to learning. And they agree that the second stage needs to change, they differ in how they see it changing. Interestingly, the second stage was developed due to the other two stages. According to Freire, the perpetuation of the second stage is due to politics not ontological reasons. And Papert believes that with all the current and future enabling technology future generation will revolt against the second stage. Freire would see the change happening within the existing structures and having a critical approach to change the surrounding politics, Papert would see a change initiated by the coming generations of learners. Both agreed education should empower the learner with the "raison d'etre" -- reason for having.

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