Legendary Progressive Educator Reviews Invent To Learn

Herbert Kohl is a legendary educator who authored more than thirty books, many of them among our favorites. Kohl is also a leading voice in the progressive education movement of the past fifty years and a pioneer of open education.

We were recently shocked and honored to learn that our hero reviewed our book, Invent To Learn – Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom, for the Summer 2014 issue of Rethinking Schools.

“Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary Stager’s Invent to Learn is a persuasive, powerful, and useful reconceptualization of progressive education for digital times.” – Herb Kohl

No higher praise is imaginable!

Read the complete review here.

Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary Stager’s Invent to Learn is a persuasive, powerful, and useful reconceptualization of progressive education for digital times. Influenced by the work of Seymour Papert, Marvin Minsky, and Cynthia Solomon of the MIT Media Lab, the authors put forth a socially relevant program that engages students in creating software programs, experimenting with building computers, developing applications, and working cooperatively. The authors approach science and technology education from an alternative and resolutely progressive angle, drawing on Solomon’s thoughts on what constitutes “real” science: “It seems that, to many people, tinkering connotes a messiness and unprofessionalism that doesn’t apply to ‘real’ jobs in scientific fields. I believe the opposite is true—tinkering is exactly how real science and engineering is done.”

This book provides concrete instances in which making—learning by doing—can work in classrooms as an inexpensive, fun, and educational way to celebrate students’ creativity and ingenuity. With the current demand for more science and math in schools, the usual route emphasizes mechanical learning and continual evaluation in structured, competitive learning situations. As a much-needed alternative, Invent to Learnprovides a vision of a libertory science education that integrates arts, digital technology, cooperative experimentation, and what David Hawkins calls “messing about.”

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