Education’s a technical act, just like medicine

by reestheskin on 20/08/2015

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This is from an old  Keynote given by Seymour Papert:

I always keep in my mind the analogy with other areas where the computer presence has made a deep, real difference, and imagine what would happen if you took a physician or surgeon from the, even the 19th century, and time traveled, beamed that person into a modern operating room, he wouldn’t even know what is going on. But a school teacher beamed into a modern classroom would be a little surprised by some of the things happening, but basically would know what was going on and could even take over the class if need be (laughter).

The fundamental question I want to pose –and I don’t want to give the answer – what I want to say is it’s a question that demands more attention than it has been given. The question is: Is that kind of megachange conceivable in the area of education, or is there something about education that means it’s never going to really change, and that’s sort of one way it becomes unrecognizable? You know – it’s a natural act, you might say, like eating. Whether your food comes from far away on an airplane, or it is cooked on an open fire or a microwave or not at all, eating is still putting it in your mouth, enjoying the company, enjoying the taste – basically the same. Is education like that? Well, maybe learning is like that. Education is not. Education’s a technical act, just like medicine.