To Mitchel Resnick, Robert Fulghum’s essay, “All I ever really needed to know I learned in Kindergarten” is just the tip of the iceberg as far as learning is concerned. In fact, to Resnick, it is the concepts we learn in Kindergarten that teach how to become a creative thinker.
Resnick and his Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT believe that through play, children develop and refine their imagination, curiosity and creativity. His work – including the development of Scratch, LEGO Mindstorms, and the Computer Clubhouse network – is based on the idea that as children playfully explore and experiment, they develop new ideas and new ways of thinking about the world around them. “We want to take that Kindergarten approach to learning – where kids are creating and designing and experimenting – and bring it to learners of all ages,” says Resnick. “We want to let everybody be a creator, a designer, an inventor.” For him, the most important part of education is “to develop a passion for learning, help people be better learners and more creative thinkers” and promote collaboration so that people can learn from each other.
I was both thrilled and honored to talk with Mitchel Resnick today. I hope you enjoy our latest Daily Edventure.
About Mitchel Resnick
Professor of Learning Research, MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, Massachusetts – USA
Mitchel Resnick, LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research and head of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab, explores how new technologies can engage people in creative learning experiences. Resnick’s research group developed the “programmable brick” technology that inspired the LEGO Mindstorms robotics kit. He co-founded the Computer Clubhouse project, a worldwide network of after-school centers where youth from low-income communities learn to express themselves creatively with new technologies.
Resnick’s group also developed Scratch, an online community where children program and share interactive stories, games, and animations. He earned a BA in physics at Princeton University (1978), and MS and PhD degrees in computer science at MIT (1988, 1992). He worked as a science-technology journalist from 1978 to 1983, and he has consulted throughout the world on creative uses of computers in education. He is author of Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams (1994), co-editor of Constructionism in Practice (1996), and co-author of Adventures in Modeling (2001). In 2011, Resnick was awarded the McGraw Prize in Education.
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Current residence: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Education: BA in physics at Princeton (1978), PhD in computer science at MIT (1992
Website I check every day: scratch.mit.edu
Person who inspires me most: Seymour Papert
Favorite childhood memory: Creating my own miniature golf course in my backyard
Next travel destination (work or pleasure): Denmark to visit the LEGO Company, then Ireland for the annual conference of the Computer Clubhouse network
When was the last time you laughed? Why?: A couple minutes ago, reading an email from a friend
Favorite book: Gödel, Escher, Bach (by Douglas Hofstadter)
Your favorite quote or motto: “There are those that look at things the way
they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” (Robert Kennedy)
More information on Mitchel Resnick: http://web.media.mit.edu/~mres/videos.html