Seymour Papert in The Children’s Machine (excerpted here.):
It is simply double talk to ask children to take charge of their own learning and at the same time order them to “discover” something that can have no role in helping them understand anything they care about or are interested in or are curious about.
This isn’t rocket science. Each one of us lives this. We learn what we have an interest in learning. The deeper our interest, the less we will let stand in our way. I’m struck by stories like that of Jack Andraka, 15 years-old, who wouldn’t let school stand in the way. (Listen carefully from 1:19 – 2:05.)
It’s easy for a lot of people now to say “we’re moving.” Every kid has an iPad. We’re doing project-based learning. We’re flipping the classroom to make more time for problem-solving. And on.
I can’t speak for him, but I doubt Papert is impressed. Our hubris in education is still that we think we know what, when, and how every child needs to learn. While our rhetoric changes, we remain teacher / curriculum centered despite announcements that our “better” assessments, our “better” curriclum, our “better” uses of technology are transferring ownership of learning to children.
They’re not. We’re not.