May 18, 2022

Literacy Resource

There is an ongoing discussion about literacy, new literacy and 21st Century skills.

The following article written by Seymour Papert in 1993 is well worth reading. It may help fuel the debate. It appeared in the 2nd ever issue of Wired Magazine.

When knowledge had to be handed out to children, it was necessary to break it up into pre-digested units that could be passed out in a systematic way. Thus the definition of knowledge by subjects, children by grades, and achievement by test scores. But the success with which they learn to speak (and manipulate parents) in their pre-school years attests to the fact that they learn very well from direct interaction with knowledge. The existence of media that could give children direct access to knowledge leads me to question much that is taken for granted in the organizational structure of school. But organizational issues are only at the surface of the rethinking. Deeper rethinking focuses on the nature of knowledge and the learner’s relationship to it.

Read Obsolete Skill Set: The 3 Rs — Literacy and Letteracy in the Media Ages and let me know what you think!

6 thoughts on “Literacy Resource

  1. “What follows from imagining a Knowledge Machine is a certainty that School will either change very radically or simply collapse. It is predictable (though still astonishing) that the Education Establishment cannot see farther than using new technologies to do what it has always done in the past, teach the same curriculum. I have suggested that new media radically change the concept of curriculum by demoting its core elements. But I would go further: The possibility of freely exploring worlds of knowledge calls into question the very idea of an administered curriculum.”

    Great article from a “giant”.

  2. Sixteen years ago…and from what I can see, the whole world has reached that point – except schooling. I’m 23, and it is only by luck and a solid out of school support system that I got to play with knowledge in this way while I was growing up. That is, during the times I didn’t have to be sitting passively in a classroom. I always felt plugged in, connected, and able to satisfy my any curiosity online, and this, above all the other things I learned growing up, has been the key to adult life in the 21st century.

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