In Praise of Tinkering – Time magazine online

Time Magazine online : In Praise of Tinkering: How the decline in technical know-how is making us think less

Annie Murphy Paul has written an opinion piece about how tinkering is essential to learning – and I’m quoted! How cool is that?

“If we want more young people to choose a profession in one of the group of crucial fields known as STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — we ought to start cultivating these interests and skills early. But the way to do so may not be the kind of highly structured and directed instruction that we usually associate with these subjects. Instead, some educators have begun taking seriously an activity often dismissed as a waste of time: tinkering. Tinkering is the polar opposite of the test-driven, results-oriented approach of No Child Left Behind: it involves a loose process of trying things out, seeing what happens, reflecting and evaluating, and trying again. As Sylvia Martinez, a learning expert who spoke about the value of tinkering at a meeting of the National Council of Women in Information Technology earlier this year, puts it: “Tinkering is the way that real science happens, in all its messy glory.””

Paul, the author of OriginsHow the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives is at work on a book about the science of learning

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