LOGO-L> Constructivism 
Author Message
 LOGO-L> Constructivism


Bill

The problem with your use of the word 'play' is that it has a range of
vernacular usage that is antagonistic to your notion of Einstein 'playing'
with though experiments. It might be better if Logoistes adopted a more
scientific approach and honed vernacular terms to a more precise meaning
rather than letting them expand exponentially. The implications of
'playing with a stick' and 'playing with ideas' are very different.

I prefer to think in terms of the mind's relationship with the medium, the
prerequisites for independence in access to a given medium, and the
freedom to develop constructively. Remember, the converse of construction
is destruction. What are the characteristics of destructive learning?

Micheal O Duill
EuroLogo Chairman

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Thu, 09 Sep 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 LOGO-L> Constructivism

Quote:

> I think a defensible constructivist view is that Archimedes wouldn't have
> discovered his Principle if he'd only been told about bathtubs and had
> never taken a bath himself.  And, more to the point, a child today can
> more easily understand Archimedes' Principle if s/he *first* plays with
> objects in the water, and *then* hears the facts from a teacher.

And then I would add that if the goal is:

<snip>

Quote:
>My off the cuff reaction was that it was good for learning the generic
>techniques of problem solving <snip>

that the teacher would "teach" the students how to solve problems with
the goal of creating a discoverer-of-principles.

So just exactly where does LOGO fit into all of this?   Dale


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Wed, 15 Sep 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 LOGO-L> Constructivism

Brian Harvey said:-

Quote:
>I think a defensible constructivist view is that Archimedes wouldn't have
>discovered his Principle if he'd only been told about bathtubs and had
>never taken a bath himself.  And, more to the point, a child today can
>more easily understand Archimedes' Principle if s/he *first* plays with
>objects in the water, and *then* hears the facts from a teacher.

This reminded me that I developed a work required contract for a Buoyancy and
Density topic in my previous school. It's in the constructionist spirit but
before I started using logo. I'm sure that some of these ideas could be
converted into MicroWorlds projects:-

1. Say what floating and sinking are and classify a series of examples as
either floating, sinking or neither.
2. Predict whether various objects are floaters or sinkers and test your
predictions by experiment.
3. Brainstorm questions you have about floaters, sinkers, buoyancy and density.
Compile a class list of questions.
4. Say what density is and mathematically calculate the density of various
cubic shaped objects (lead, brass, aluminium, wood).
5. Calculate the density of two irregular shaped solids.
6. Calculate the density of water, methylated spirits and glycerine.
7. HW exercise: Design and complete an experiment at home to calculate the
density of your body.
8. Use plasticine and wood to make an object that just sinks in water. Find the
density of the object and compare it with the density of water. Write up your
experiment as a Vee. Focus question: At what density do objects turn from
floaters to sinkers?
9. Find the density of salt water.
10. Make an object that floats in salt water and sinks in fresh water. Find the
density of that object. Focus question:- How come some objects float in salt
water and sink in fresh water?
11. Predict the mass and volume of an object that would float in water and sink
in metho. Then make such an object and see whether your prediction was correct.
Explain your results.
12. Make a boat from plasticine that floats. Find the density of the boat.
Include the air space in the volume of the boat.
13. Find out how much mass your boat will support before it sinks. Explain your
findings by referring to the density of the boat and its load and the density
of the water in which it is floating. Focus question: Why do boats sink?

The inspiration for my contract was derived from the New Zealand "Learning in
Science Project" (University of Waikato).

-- Bill Kerr
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Thu, 16 Sep 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 LOGO-L> Constructivism

<snip>

Quote:
> I like the emphasis in Idit Harel's work on Problem finding as well as problem
> solving. ie. If you find the problem yourself then you are more likely to want
> to solve it. Problem finding is a real life skill, the ability to identify that
> you have a problem that needs solving and exactly what that problem is, is
> important. Idit Harel's thesis is *excellent* in this regard.

<snip>

Sometimes it may even be better to think of finding opportunities rather
than looking for problems.  I remember at work the problem finders were
not valued as highly as opportunity discovers were.  And best of all
were those few people that brought the opportunity AND a few good ideas
about how to take advantage of the opportunity to the table for
discussion.   Dale


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Fri, 17 Sep 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 LOGO-L> Constructivism

Constructivism presumes pencil and paper or concrete media. There can be
no guarantee that the assumptions transfer to the computer as a medium. We
can however be sure of one thing. Children propose the world in which they
live and accept a match with reality of varying accuracy. We get cults
because of the capability of our our species to construct its own reality.
The only defence against such madness is a scientific, as opposed to
phylosophical, attitude of mind. It follows that Logo's greatest weakness
is in the assertion of its adherents that it is educational philosophy.

Micheal O Duill
EuroLogo Chairman



Tue, 21 Sep 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 LOGO-L> Constructivism

<snip>
 Education is not a science, it is an art.

Quote:
> This is not a weakness, but a strength.

<snip>

I wonder if some of you, but most of all you Jeff, can tell me what an
"art" is.  Is there a little bit of "art" in everything we do?  Are
there some activities we should add more "art" to and some we should
attempt to minimize the amount of "art" envolved.

Too often in the past when I tried to cause some engineer to explain to
me how he or she came up with a particular requirement they would say
"Oh I was just practising the art of engineering and I do not have a
mathematical model."

Phoey on that kind of talk, at least in engineering.   Dale
--

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Fri, 24 Sep 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 LOGO-L> Constructivism

Quote:
> because of the capability of our our species to construct its own reality.
> The only defence against such madness is a scientific, as opposed to
> phylosophical, attitude of mind. It follows that Logo's greatest weakness
> is in the assertion of its adherents that it is educational philosophy.

...except that philosophy is the most appropriate approach. Appeals to
ultimate scientific truth are not only impossible, but damaging and
dangerous in the humanities. Education is not a science, it is an art.
This is not a weakness, but a strength.

Jeff Richardson

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Fri, 24 Sep 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 LOGO-L> Constructivism

Quote:
> > Education is not a science, it is an art.
> > This is not a weakness, but a strength.

> I wonder if some of you, but most of all you Jeff, can tell me what an
> "art" is.  Is there a little bit of "art" in everything we do?  Are
> there some activities we should add more "art" to and some we should
> attempt to minimize the amount of "art" envolved.

Dale
I'm not sure that I can define Art. My point was to oppose claims for
scientific 'truth' in social domains, where this is not possible, and
leads to totalitarianism.
Is the sense that you're using, with the example of the "art of
engineering' to do with tacit knowledge?
Jeff

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Fri, 24 Sep 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 LOGO-L> Constructivism

Quote:

> > > Education is not a science, it is an art.
> > > This is not a weakness, but a strength.

> > I wonder if some of you, but most of all you Jeff, can tell me what an
> > "art" is.  Is there a little bit of "art" in everything we do?  Are
> > there some activities we should add more "art" to and some we should
> > attempt to minimize the amount of "art" involved.
> Dale
> I'm not sure that I can define Art.

I think it means (in engineering anyway and if we are not expecting that
LOGO would improve the thinking abilities of future engineers, among
others of course then what is this discussion list about anyway?) that
different engineers would imagine different designs for a particular
requirement.  

It has been my experience that non-arty engineers working independently
will come up with almost identical designs.  Amazingly and pleasingly
identical to this "worshiper" of Mother Nature and Her laws.   Except
for the influence of the other technologies and management and
maintenance and... members on the Design Build Team of course.

Quote:
>My point was to oppose claims for
> scientific 'truth' in social domains, where this is not possible, and
> leads to totalitarianism.

Amen to that Jeff!  

Quote:
> Is the sense that you're using, with the example of the "art of
> engineering' to do with tacit knowledge?

Tacit:  1) understood without being openly expressed.  2) unvoiced or
unspoken

No I do not think tacit is a word I would use.

I think arty engineers refer to rules-of-thump and use hunches and
guess-and-by-golly and handwaving and it is 1630-and-time-to-go-home
methods.  While the less arty are there at 0500 in the mornings and/or
in the evenings until 2100.  The real engineers are at their desks or in
the labs again early Saturday and Sunday mornings when the mainframes
are turning around runs in a couple minutes instead of once every 4
hours.

I was hoping that if the engineers thinking abilities could be
significantly improved by using LOGO they could take a Saturday off once
in awhile to be with their families without resorting to engineering
"art."     Dale
--

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Sat, 25 Sep 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 LOGO-L> Constructivism

Quote:
> > Is the sense that you're using, with the example of the "art of
> > engineering' to do with tacit knowledge?

> Tacit:  1) understood without being openly expressed.  2) unvoiced or
> unspoken

> No I do not think tacit is a word I would use.

> I think arty engineers refer to rules-of-thumb and use hunches

Those two things seem like tacit knowlegde to me.

Jeff

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Sun, 26 Sep 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 
 [ 10 post ] 

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