Directors: Antonio M. Battro and Kurt W. Fischer
Program officer: María Lourdes Majdalani
Questions for La main à la pâte: Emotion, reasoning and computers
La main à la pâte pedagogy is almost entirely built on the assumption, often verified by experience, that children (ages 5-12) are driven by curiosity. Hence, rather than schools and teachers providing a supply (of knowledge), the lesson is driven by a demand (of the pupils). If this is true, it completely modifies the relationship to knowledge which pupils have in science classes. It raises numerous questions: what is the "brain image" of curiosity? Which factors may amplify, disturb or suppress it? Does it have an intrinsic variability? How are related the rational and emotive components of curiosity? Why should we select the direct contacts with natural phenomena (as we do) rather than the mediated ones through the use of a computer? This last question is obvioulsy related to the diversity of perceptions used in any experimental work. If computers become available and possibly useful for science education through OLPC, which are the prerequisits to use them without hampering the curiosity for nature? The talk will put the whole La main à la pâte program in perspective of these questions and possible MBE, as well as OLPC, collaborations.