Mitch Resnick On Creating Opportunities For Children To Learn By Designing, Creating, Experimenting & Exploring …*

Mitch Resnick On Creating Opportunities For Children To Learn By Designing, Creating, Experimenting & Exploring ...*  | rethinked.org

Mitch Resnick, Papert Professor of Learning Research and director of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT Media Lab, shares some valuable insights on the importance of developing creative thinkers and the various tools and processes to build creative learning experiences. Enjoy the highlights below and read the full interview here.

| THE IMPACT OF THE KINDERGARTEN APPROACH TO LEARNING |

We call the group Lifelong Kindergarten because we’re inspired by the way children learn in kindergarten. In the classic kindergarten, children are constantly designing and creating things in collaboration with one another. They build towers with wooden blocks and make pictures with finger paints—and we think they learn a lot in the process.

What we want to do with our new technology and activities is extend that kindergarten approach to learning, to learners of all ages. So everybody can continue to learn in a kindergarten style, but to learn more advanced and sophisticated ideas over time.

| THE NEED FOR CREATIVE THINKERS | 

The process of making things in the world—creating things; it provides us with the opportunity to take the ideas that we have in our mind and to represent them out in the world. Once we do that, it sparks new ideas. So there’s this constant back and forth between having new ideas in your mind, creating things in the world, and that process sparking new ideas in the mind which lets you create new things. So it’s this constant spiral of creating and generating new ideas.

We live in a world that is changing more rapidly than ever before. Things that you learn today could be obsolete tomorrow. But one thing is for sure: People will confront unexpected situations and unexpected challenges in the future. So what’s going to be most important is for kids to be able to come up with new and innovative solutions to the new challenges that arise. That’s why it’s so important to develop as a creative thinker. Just knowing a fixed set of facts and skills is not enough. The ability to think and act creatively will be the most important ingredient for success in the future.

| THE POWER OF CODING TO LEARN |

Although coding does provide some economic opportunities for jobs and careers, I think the most important reason for learning to code is it lets you organize your ideas and express your ideas. Coding lets you learn many other things. So that’s why I think what’s most important is not just learning to code, but coding to learn. As you’re learning to code, you’re learning many other things.

[ …]

Before you can think about changing living standards, you need to change learning standards. I think computer science provides new opportunities to help people become better learners. I think the thing that’s going to guarantee success in the future is people developing as creative thinkers and creative learners. Doing creative work with technology through learning to code is one pathway to that. It’s not the only pathway. But I think what’s probably the most important thing is having young people grow up with opportunities to think and act creatively. That’s the key.

| RETHINKING …* ALL SCHOOL SUBJECTS TO FACILITATE CREATIVE EXPRESSION |

We should make sure all subjects are taught in a way where kids get a chance to learn through creative expression. And not just computer programming. In a science class or physics class or biology class, teachers should allow students to have creative learning experiences.

We should rethink all school subjects so there are opportunities for children to learn by designing, creating, experimenting and exploring. That’s also true when we use computers. We should use computers to design, create, experiment and explore. But we should apply those ideas to all classes and all media.

Source: Interview: Mitchel Resnick via Maris, West & Baker Advertising, published February 8, 2014.

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