Aprendizaje: una aspiración

Dra. Eleonora Badilla-Saxe



Enseñar: una ilusión

Quienes nos dedicamos a la educación a veces tenemos la ilusión de que nuestros estudiantes aprenden los contenidos que están incluidos en los planes de estudio y que yo les enseño.

Pero en esta ilusión se esconden tres falacias:

• La primera es que, si los estudiantes no aprenden los contenidos prescritos en los planes de estudio, no aprendieron nada.

• La segunda es que, si aprenden los contenidos prescritos en los planes de estudio, aprendieron solamente eso.

• La tercera, que si yo lo enseño, otras personas lo aprenden.

¡Qué desilusión! Si despejo estas tres falacias, resulta que puede ser que lo que yo enseñe, nadie lo aprende, y que aunque nadie aprenda lo que dice el plan de estudios, siempre habrá un aprendizaje. Es decir que aprendan o no lo que está prescrito en el plan de estudios, hay otros aprendizajes riquísimos que yo no percibo por estar tan concentrada en enseñar y evaluar lo que prescribe el plan de estudios.

Aprender: un fenómeno emergente

A partir de la propuesta del Pensamiento Complejo de Edgar Morin, la emergencia o lo emergente ha cobrado relevancia para diversos autores y en distintas áreas. Lo emergente es una respuesta o reacción inesperada, no anticipada, que se da como resultado de la interacción de las partes de un todo.

Aceptamos que el aprendizaje es un fenómeno emergente que surge de la interacción entre diversos procesos neuronales, corporales, afectivos y del entorno, y no puede reducirse a ninguno de los componentes que participan en los procesos. En ese contexto, debemos entender y aceptar que la mayoría de los aprendizajes son inesperados, muchos de ellos imposibles de predecir y que los contenidos de esos aprendizajes son simples y complejos, pero que los complejos no son meros agregados a los primeros.

La aspiración

Resulta entonces que mi aspiración como docente, más que enseñar y evaluar los contenidos prescritos en los planes de estudio, debería estar en identificar y valorar los aprendizajes inesperados e impredecibles que surgen de la interacción de las mentes, las personas, los medios y el entorno.

Un ejemplo *1

Entre los años 2005 y 2008 realicé con mis estudiantes de Educación de la Universidad de Costa Rica, una experiencia con niños y niñas preescolares quienes diseñaron un micromundo en su aula, y dentro de este, una criatura que podía ser programada con un comportamiento particular. *2

Mis estudiantes, muy pendientes del plan de estudios oficial para el nivel de preescolar, pudieron constatar que las actividades propuestas les permitieron a los niños y niñas manifestar conocimiento sobre los contenidos previstos en dicho plan: relaciones espaciales, colores, formas geométricas…

Yo me asombraba con el aprendizaje emergente que construían aquellos pequeños y que, por inesperado e impredecible, pasaba desapercibido para las docentes investigadoras.

Al llamar la atención de las investigadoras y solicitar ayuda de otras personas observadoras, pudimos constatar que, además de los contenidos prescritos en el plan de estudios de preescolar, los niños y niñas estaban estableciendo el conocimiento básico que les permitirá construir conocimiento sobre:

  • Fuerza y movimiento
  • Desplazamiento
  • Potencia
  • Fricción
  • Diferencia entre fuerza y velocidad
  • Energía potencial y energía cinética

¡Antes de los 6 años! Contenidos no incluidos en el Plan de Estudios de Preescolar. Aprendizaje inesperado, impredecible. Sin que nadie lo enseñara.

La labor docente cada vez se vuelve más interesante y desafiante.


*1 Ver experiencia completa en http://revista.inie.ucr.ac.cr/index.php/aie/article/view/241/240

*2 Etapa básica de “robótica”

Nicholas Negroponte: Re-thinking learning and re-learning thinking

Published on Mar 19, 2013

Re-thinking learning and re-learning thinking

Nicholas Negroponte, Technology Visionary and Founder, One Laptop per Child

What if we have learning all wrong?

In this thoughtful, provocative keynote, Professor Negroponte explores the implications of the work of One Laptop per Child (OLPC), the non-profit association he founded in 2005. Distributing 2.5 million rugged laptops around the world and seeing how impoverished children use them has provoked Professor Negroponte into re-considering much that we take for granted about how children — and all of us –learn.

The industrialisation of schooling, he argues, has replaced our natural wonder of learning with an obsessive focus on facts. We treat knowing as a surrogate for learning, even though our experience tells us that it is quite possible to know about something while utterly failing to understand it.

And compounding this is instructionism’s fatally flawed belief that anything can be taught and that there is a perfect way to teach everything. If we have learned one thing from OLPC, it is that the human mind is too rich, complex and wonderful for that.

This lesson does not apply only to children, and it does not apply only to developing countries. Children can — and do — learn a great deal by themselves before they have their natural curiosity extinguished, too often by school. And those children grow into adults. So how would our education systems and our adult lives be better, if we focused a little less on measuring what we tell people and a little more on understanding how they discover?



”Enhance Learning through Technology” conference in Rwanda

From 5th to 7th august 2012, Rwanda held an international conference on technology in education with the theme ”Enhance Learning through Technology”. This conference took place at Kigali Serena Hotel. Professor Nicholas Negroponte (founder and chairman of One Laptop per Child); Rodrigo Arboleda (Chairman and CEO of OLPCA) and Sergio Romero (Vice President of Operations and Africa) were invited to attend this conference of technology in education.

In his presentation, Professor Nicholas Negroponte, mentioned that as you cannot compete with world food program  (WFP) which feeds bodies, you cannot compete with One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) which feeds children’s brains. He also emphasized on OLPC as an educational project not a computer project as some would think. In his presentation he also talked about a research being done in Ethiopia about what could happen if technology is brought in the hands of illiterate children.  “These children proved to work by themselves to use the tablets, to read and to learn.” he said. 

Kagabo Callixte, a 12 years, grade six, from a local school presented his project using an XO on pollution. He used Scratch activity to describe different causes of pollution and how to prevent it.  The participants were amazed and happy on how this 12 year child presented confidently in front of older people. He mentioned how the XO laptop is important to his life and how it fits in his dreams of becoming a future engineer. Watch Kagabo presentation on YouTube.

After the conference, OLPC officials, together with NKUBITO Bakuramutsa (OLPC Rwanda coordinator) went to Smaldone Primary School (a deaf and mute primary schools that use XO laptops). At the school, the officials observed how children were using the XO laptops  in different activities. Children mentioned how happy they are with the laptops and thanked professor Nicholas and his excellence Paul Kagame to think about them in releasing them from loneliness. When asked by Professor Nicholas about what they could change on the XO laptop to suit their needs, the children mentioned that visual activities could be more useful since they cannot hear.

The conference was ended by a Gala dinner, where a cultural dance troupe entertained the participants, a gift of recognition was handled to professor Nicholas Negroponte as a key note speaker.

by Intwali Parfait Jimmy; OLPC technical and learning Officer


Latest news on Sugar Activities

At the urging of Reuben Caron, who had been contacted by the OLPC deployment in Armenia, Walter Bender wrote a chess activity for Sugar. It is a Sugar front-end to the gnuchess program, which is a quite sophisticated chess engine for GNU/Linux. The actvitiy, Gnuchess, can be downloaded from the Sugar activity portal and is documented on the Activities/Gnuchess page in the wiki. A few fun features include:

(1)  you can play against the computer, another person on the same computer, or over the network

(2) you can use a generic set of pieces, load in some Sugar-colored ones, or those of your own design

(3) when you play against someone over the net, they will see your artwork and you’ll see their artwork

(4) the computer will offer very good hints to new users

(5) games are recorded and can be played back as an animation or saved in standard chess notation.

Walter also have been making a number of subtle but important changes to Turtle Blocks. Cynthia Solomon (of Logo fame) has been giving him feedback and as a result, Walter thinks the box and action naming is much more streamlined and consistent. Also, the new flow blocks are much easier (and more intuitive) to use.

Check out Version 154 and keep an eye out for Version 156, coming soon.

Also, Claudia, Melissa, Cynthia, and Walter hosted a learning workshop at the OLPC office in Cambridge at which Walter got some feedback on the Portfolio and Bulletin Board activities. He is in the midst of streamlining Portfolio and also enabling comments to be made over the web. (You can get a sneak preview of Version 27). With the learning team, we have been developing a classroom protocol. Once the Portfolio activity gets released, the Bulletin Board activity will follow.

Walter has also been withing with the Fundación Zamora Teran team on the Nutrition activity.
More region-specific foods have been added and a new game: match the food to its food group. A new release will be available soon; a preview is available here.

e.Studyante : A new OLPC + connectivity program in the Philippines

Philippines has a number of amazing pilots underway. The grassroots eKindling group reports some remarkable success stories from their Lubang program, and have helped the province of Occidental Mindoro build on that success.

Now a new e.Studyante program in the Philippines, started in the Manila, plans to providing primary students with OLPCs and connectivity for the next 25 years. This program was started by P&G Philippines, along with Smart Communications (providing Internet connectivity) and the Synergeia Foundation.

e.Studyante recently launched at the Manuel L. Quezon Elementary School in Tondo, Manila. The program focuses on engaging education, supported by technology: it distributes XOs to students, provides other tools and training for teachers, and includes vetting and updating educational software and materials. It aims to make learning “fun, empowering, relevant, and easier” for kids, and to reach 1 million primary students by its 100th anniversary in 24 years – roughly 40,000 a year.

Chad Sotelo, P&G’s Country Marketing Manager, explained:

“We intend for this to complement traditional learning methods and tools instead of competing with them… A laptop and Internet connectivity becomes [their] window to the world’s knowledge and places it at their fingertips in real-time. People and places they had no access to before are now within their reach. These tools expand their horizons and minds and encourage them to dream and attain a brighter future.”

The program is funded in part through the sale of P&G promo packs, at retail outlets across the country; part of the price of each pack goes to the program.

Registration opens for SugarCamp Paris: September 9-11

reposted on behalf of OLPC France

Registration is now open for the 2nd SugarCamp Paris. Please join us in making Sugar a better learning experience!

This event is organized by OLPC France, and takes place in Paris, France from September 9 (evening) to September 11 (evening).

The goal is to enhance Sugar as a free learning platform, already used by ~2M kids around the
world, and to focus on a specific problem: how to make Sugar *documentation* better with respect to accessibility and readability?

Partial travel refunds are available for regional trips for those who could not otherwise come. Please contact the organizers with any questions.

Let’s take this challenge, and enjoy a good time with many members of the OLPC/Sugar community!