Alan Kay on education Face to Face: Alan Kay Still Waiting for the Revolution:

Q: Well, what should 21st-century education be about?
A: The most critical thing about the 20th and 21st centuries is that there’s a bunch of new invented ideas–many of them connected with modern civilization–that our nervous systems are not at all set up to automatically understand. Equal rights, for example. Or calculus. You won’t find these ideas in ancient or traditional societies.

If you take all the anthropological universals and lay them out, those are the things that you can expect children to learn from their environment–and they do. But the point of school is to teach all those things that are inventions and that are hard to learn because we’re not explicitly wired for them. Like reading and writing.

Virtually all learning difficulties that children face are caused by adults’ inability to set up reasonable environments for them. The biggest barrier to improving education for children, with or without computers, is the completely impoverished imaginations of most adults.

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