XP on OLPC - a contrarian view

Martin Langhoff martin.langhoff at gmail.com
Sat May 17 04:14:57 EDT 2008

On Sat, May 17, 2008 at 4:08 PM, Albert Cahalan <acahalan at gmail.com> wrote:
> You don't need computers for constructionism. If pushing educational
> theories of questionable value is your thing,

Can we stop beating constructionism for no reason, and without any facts?

First, a bit of debunking of the concept: constructionism is the
strategy used in all those courses at university that are called
"seminars". It is well recognised as a valuable teaching strategy. And
in general terms, if you've ever figured something out with a friend,
rather than being taught (as I figured out my first C=64 with my best
friend at age 9), you've engaged in social constructionism. When kids
"figure out" the vcr, and show someone else how to do it, that's also

Formal research is widespread into this, and seems to consistently
show that it works, as can be seen in the work of Martin Dougiamas
(he's the guy I'm most familiar with, definitely not the only one):

In any case, the discussion these days seems to be "how early can
social constructionism be useful?", and as far as I can see, it is not
hard to show that fairly young kids respond amazingly well to sc
approaches. The hole in the wall experiments are part of a long trail
of work in that direction.

> I'd rather give the gift of software freedom. Unlike your theories,

This project has people with different focus from yours Albert. We
need them all. _You_ care mainly about the sw freedom, others care
mainly about education. But the overall goal needs both as they are


 martin.langhoff at gmail.com

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