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The Society of Mind theory developed from teaching


Seymour Papert's theory of constructivism
Marvin Minsky Scientist
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Seymour Papert and I had worked on earlier versions of this society of mind theory and it was gradually shaping for maybe 10 years. And then, he began to get more involved with and spending more time developing the Logo language and getting children to use it and teaching teachers to train... to develop projects. And that was going well. And Seymour had less and less time to work on the basic cognitive theory and more and more need to develop the... his concepts of education. So, he started producing a series of papers and books about what some people call constructivism, the idea that in order to learn about things, children should actually be making things and building them and using them and trying to see what’s good and bad about them, whereas in regular school you’re being taught about things and being asked to write about them. But you’re not being asked to build things and do things and do experiments and so forth. So, constructivism is now a sort of key word all over the world.

Marvin Minsky (1927-2016) was one of the pioneers of the field of Artificial Intelligence, founding the MIT AI lab in 1970. He also made many contributions to the fields of mathematics, cognitive psychology, robotics, optics and computational linguistics. Since the 1950s, he had been attempting to define and explain human cognition, the ideas of which can be found in his two books, The Emotion Machine and The Society of Mind. His many inventions include the first confocal scanning microscope, the first neural network simulator (SNARC) and the first LOGO 'turtle'.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is a London-based television producer and director who has made a number of documentary films for BBC TV, Channel 4 and PBS.

Tags: Logo, Seymour Papert

Duration: 1 minute, 25 seconds

Date story recorded: 29-31 Jan 2011

Date story went live: 13 May 2011