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Mindstorms: Children, Computers, And Powerful Ideas Paperback – Aug 4 1993

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; 2nd Revised ed. edition (Aug. 4 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465046746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465046744
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.4 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 299 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #115,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Seymour Papert is Lego Professor of Mathematics and Education at MIT, where he is also co-founder of the artificial intelligence and media laboratories.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is the best book I have ever read on how to assist people to learn for themselves. Papert began his work by collaborating with Jean Piaget, and then applied those perspectives in a self-programming language designed to help children learn math and physics.
Papert explains Piaget's work and provides case studies of how the programming language, LOGO, can help. He provides a wonderful contrasting explanation of the weaknesses of how math and physics are usually taught in schools.
I learned quite a few things from this that I did not know before. People are very good at developing theories about why things work the way they do. I knew that these theories are almost always wrong. What I did not realize is that if you give the person a way to test their theory, the person will keep devising new theories until they hit on one that works. What is usually missing in education is the means to allow that testing to occur.
An especially imaginative part of this book were the discussions of how to create theory testing solutions that are much simpler and easier to apply than any school problem you ever saw in these subjects. Papert works from a very fundamental and deep understanding of math and physics to reach the heart of the most useful thought processes for applying these subjects. It is thrilling to read about what you have known for many years, and to suddenly see it in a totally different and improved perspective.
Another benefit I got from this book were plenty of ideas for how to help my teenage daughter with her math. She is very verbal, and Papert points out that math seldom teaches a vocabulary for talking about math. As a result, she memorizes a lot and gets dissociated from the subject.
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Format: Paperback
This is one of the best books ever written. Not because it so well-written; on point of style it is good but not exceptional. What makes this book so important are the powerful ideas it deals with: meta-ideas, thinking about thinking. While other books (on religion, philosophy, psychology and computation) have dealt with such, few have done it as successfully or straightforwardly as Papert, and insanely few have done it via the topic of education. No more pertinent a topic exists, and it is because of this (not in spite of it) that the book is accessible.
Straightfoward is the key word. Papert tells it like it is. This book is one of the last products of an age where thinkers empowered the economy (rather than the other way around) -- the golden age of Bell Labs and the MIT LISPers, whose fruits carried the world through 2 decades of incredible economic developement, but whose ideals have been ignored.
The reader could dismiss the critic's Randian gripe, if he had anything else to read; this book is out of print.
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Format: Paperback
It would be hard to find a better book than this. While Prof. Papert discusses the language Logo, which he invented, the book is about much more than a computer language. It is about how children (and adults as well) learn and about revolutionary ideas about teaching and the power of thinking. He discusses many real-life children he worked with, some with learning problems. He opens your mind to the proper use of computers in the education system. For example, if you wanted your child to really learn French, you couldn't do better than allow him to live in France for a while; similarly, if you want your child to learn math, why not let him live in 'Mathland' - an environment created in a computer where math can be explored in a fun way and yet must be learned in order to explore and prosper. Papert explains this and many more powerful ideas. This is a must read book for anyone interested in the learning process.
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