Constructionism in Practice: Designing, Thinking, and Learning in a Digital World

By Yasmin Kafai; Mitchel Resnick | Go to book overview
The median age of the population is 29.6 years, suggesting a high concentration of young people. In fact, 30% of residents are under the age of 18. A full 42% are under the age of 25.
34% of households are headed by single parents.
Whereas the mean household income is $35,000, some 48% of households have incomes of less than $20,000.

Furthermore, this neighborhood has seen an increase in violence that has resulted in killings over the last few years. In fact, in 1994, one of the young people in Four Corners who was a good friend of mine was shot to death.

During the 6 years that I have lived in Four Corners, I have seen these problems from the position of one of the neighbors. The devastation I have witnessed is appalling. I personally know eight teenage boys who were shot but survived since I have lived there. Three others were shot and killed in my neighborhood during the same time. One adult male was stabbed to death during that period. The rapes and domestic violence are less openly discussed, so I do not know much about those occurrences, but most statistical reports suggest that such instances are growing. Two years ago a bullet was shot into my car, and one year ago bullets were fired into the home of a local church pastor. I know some of the boys who sell drugs, and I have come to know many of the addicts. Two women, who are good friends of mine, have had their children taken away by the Department of Social Services (DSS) because they were involved in prostitution and led drug-addicted lifestyles that actually endangered their children on occasion. Two other women I knew died of alcoholism--cirrhosis of the liver. One man I knew well and another who was the father of a friend of mine died of AIDS. Another friend and former neighbor of mine is currently HIV positive. I know countless young boys and a few young girls who have been frequently arrested, and I know many who are in jail at the time of this writing. Of course, I also know many who have dropped out of high school and seem to have nowhere to go.


REFERENCES

Beamish A. ( 1995). Communities on-line: Community-based computer networks. Unpublished masters thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.

Bereiter C. ( 1994). "Constructivism, socioculturalism, and Popper's World 3". Educational Researcher, 23( 7), 21-23.

Bott E. ( 1971). Family and social network: Roles, norms, and external relationships in ordinary urban families. New York: The Free Press.

Carey S., & Gelman R. ( 1991). The epigenesis of mind: Essays on biology and cognition. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Cobb P. ( 1994). "Where is the mind? Constructivist and sociocultural perspectives on mathematical development". Educational Researcher, 23( 7) 13-20.

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Constructionism in Practice: Designing, Thinking, and Learning in a Digital World
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Contributors xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Acknowledgments 8
  • Part I - Perspectives in Constructionism 8a
  • 1 - A Word for Learning 9
  • References 24
  • 2 - Perspective-Taking and Object Construction 25
  • Conclusion 32
  • Acknowledgments 34
  • References 34
  • 3 - Elementary School Children's Images of Science 37
  • Introduction 37
  • Conclusions 62
  • Acknowledgments 64
  • Acknowledgments 65
  • Appendix B - Image of Science Interview Guideline 65
  • Part II - Learning Through Design 70a
  • 4 - Learning Design by Making Games Children's Development of Design Strategies in the Creation of a Complex Computational Artifact 71
  • Conclusion 93
  • Acknowledgments 94
  • References 94
  • 5 - Electronic Play Worlds 97
  • Conclusions 119
  • Acknowledgments 121
  • References 121
  • 6 - The Art of Design 125
  • Foreword 125
  • References 158
  • 7 - Building and Learning with Programmable Bricks 161
  • Introduction 161
  • References 172
  • Part III - Learning in Communities *
  • 8 - Social Constructionism and the Inner City Designing Environments for Social Development and Urban Renewal 175
  • Introduction 175
  • Acknowledgments 204
  • Appendix - Statistical Data About the Four Corners Neighborhood 204
  • References 205
  • 9 - The MediaMOO Project Constructionism and Professional Community 207
  • Conclusion - Constructionism and Virtual Reality 220
  • Acknowledgments 221
  • References 221
  • 10 - A Community of Designers Learning Through Exchanging Questions and Answers 223
  • Introduction 223
  • References 239
  • 11 - They Have Their Own Thoughts 241
  • Introduction 241
  • Conclusion 251
  • Acknowledgments 252
  • References 253
  • Part IV - Learning About Systems 254a
  • 12 - New Paradigms for Computing, New Paradigms for Thinking 255
  • Introduction 255
  • Acknowledgments 266
  • References 267
  • 13 - Making Sense of Probability Through Paradox and Programming A Case Study in a Connected Mathematics Framework 269
  • Introduction 269
  • Concluding Remarks 290
  • Acknowledgments 292
  • References 293
  • 14 - Ideal and Real Systems 297
  • Introduction 297
  • Analysis and Conclusions 318
  • Acknowledgments 322
  • References 322
  • Author Index 323
  • Subject Index 329
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