Just a few quick thoughts that came to mind after I finished reading this chapter. Mind you, I have not had time to digest it all and will probably have a few more thoughts later. Some other thoughts on this matter are very likely to follow.
First of all, I thought the flower comparison that he used to dissect, analyze, and use as an example of a way that he learns was very clear. I have learned to make connections like these and do marvel at the way that a single search for the understanding of a topic can branch into so many directions. As Papert states in the chapter, “I do not pretend to understand how this process of growth happened.” Sometimes, it seems as if we tap into another dimension of our minds.
Another thought that occurred to me (and it could be because we have talked about equity so much lately) is that some people have a larger reserve of knowledge to pull from than others when making connections. So the sooner we figure out a way to teach our students how to learn how they learn, possibly the more that they can learn.
But, how does a teacher tap into what a student knows if we sometimes don’t know what we know? As the book says, we are taught numerous methodologies and theories. On the subject of books written about learning theories, Papert writes, “They do not, for instance, offer advice to the rat (or the computer) about how to learn, though they have much to say to the psychologist about how to train a rat.” I think this is a humorous observation. We need a little more than that to learn how people learn.