Learning about learning

“People need more structured ways to talk and think about the learning of skills. Contemporary language is not sufficiently rich in this domain, [and] the field of education research has not worked in the direction of developing such formalisms. But another research community, that of computer scientists, has had (for its own reasons) to work on the problem of descriptive languages and has thereby become an unexpected resource for educational innovation.

“Getting a computer to do something requires that the underlying processes be described with enough precision to be carried out by the machine. Thus computer scientists have devoted much of their talent and energy to developing powerful descriptive formalisms. [Some of these] are exactly what are needed to get a handle on the process of learning.”

-Seymour Papert, Mindstorms (p. 98-100)