Seymour Papert and mathematical emancipation

In these years there is an increased focus on computational thinking in mathematics education. Seymour Papert coined the term computational thinking and was influential in the idea of reforming mathematics teaching through the use of programming, and in a sense, his thinking is still very influential in our thinking, and overtly part of discussions when technology is implemented in mathematics teaching.


14.00-14.05: Welcome (Morten Misfeldt)
14.05-14.15: Seymour Papert; a visionary educational thinker
Morten Misfeldt: What was Papert's project and how has it evolved over the last 40 years. In this introductory talk, I will outline Papert’s thinking about education emancipation and technology. The purpose of the talk is to introduce his thinking in order to create a platform to discuss Papert and democracy up against.
14.15-14.35: Seymour Papert and democracy
Ulf Dalvad Bertelsen: Papert fell in love with gears, and everyone fell in love with Papert's idea of the computer as a best buddy and playmate that allows the child to engage with complex and abstract ideas through playful and explorative programming. I also love this idea. However, Papert’s thinking isn't just didactics (in the Scandinavian sense), it is also educational activism, and I'm not sure that I love the activism as much as the constructionism. Papert prefers Piaget to Vygotsky, small communities to large communities, informal learning to formal education, and his work is open to a reading that suggests that the primary role of communities is to nurse individual growth.

This is in many ways in opposition to classic Scandinavian ideas of pedagogy and education, and I've had a growing suspicion that there is a shortage of democracy in Papert's thinking. Through the lens of Dewey’s thoughts on democracy and education (in Democracy and Education) I hope to point to a more moderate position, that might be called democratic constructionism.
14.35-14.45 Examples of Seymour Papert’s influence on mathematics teaching
Raimundo José Elicer Coopman and Kim André Stavenæs Refvik
14.45-15.00 Break
15.00-15.30 Discussion


The seminar is open to everyone. Please register to get the Zoom link by filling out the form on the registration page.