By Seymour A. Papert
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Additional info for Mindstorms: Children, Computers, And Powerful Ideas
The child who has worked extensively with Turtles becomes deeply convinced of the value of “looking for something like it” because the advice has often paid off. From these successes comes the confidence and skill needed to learn how to apply the principle in situations, such as most of those encountered in school math, where similarities are less evident. School math, though elementary in terms of its arithmetic content, is a relatively advanced subject for the exercise of Polya’s principles. Arithmetic is a bad introductory domain for learning heuristic thinking.
But the process is slow and primitive. We can learn more, and more quickly, by taking conscious control of the learning process, articulating and analyzing our behavior. The fact that computational procedures enhance learning does not mean that all repetitive processes can be magically removed from learning or that the time needed to learn juggling can be reduced to almost nothing. It always takes time to trap and eliminate bugs. It always takes time to learn necessary component skills. What can be eliminated are wasteful and inefficient methods.
We can write an extremely simple program to draw the stick figure: TOMAN VEE FORWARD 50 VEE FORWARD 25 HEAD END This procedure is simple enough to grasp as a whole. But of course it achieves its simplicity only by making the assumption that the commands VEE and HEAD are understood by the computer. If they are not, the next step must be to define VEE and HEAD. We can do this in the same style of always working with a procedure we can understand as a whole. ) To make this work we next define LINE: TO LINE : DISTANCE FORWARD : DISTANCE BACK :DISTANCE END Since the last procedure uses only innate LOGO commands, it will work without further definitions.
Mindstorms: Children, Computers, And Powerful Ideas by Seymour A. Papert