Saad Farooq

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    Changing Minds by Andrea Di Sessa

    12 Jun 2013


    This post is about the significant points and arguments I found in Andrea diSessa's book Changing Minds.

    Things for Meeting

    • Discuss the comparison of computational literacy hierarchy with other literacy hierarchy
    • Computational literacy is unique in that the content created is consumed in a different way i.e. With language literacy:
      • Literary actions: reading / writing
      • Creation action : writing
      • Consumption action : reading With computation literacy
      • Literary actions: reading / writing code
      • Creation: write "code"
      • Consumption: read "code" / consume application
    • More like scientific literacy
    • Can you pay for my CSTA-13 registration ?
    • The World of Functions as a Function
    • Designing event based languages on the argument that they are more intuivitive.

    Research Questions

    • Is teaching the "everything is a function philosophy" worth it ?
    • How much harder is it in comparison ?
    • Can it be a literacy extendable to arts who don't necessarily understand that they are doing math?
      • What do kids instinctively know, what can be elaborated on to make it clear and what has to be taught anew ?
      • Can this philosophy be compatible with state based computational approaches? for e.g. programming a robot.


    • The tick model provides a good analogy to calculus i.e. looking at unit step intervals that make up a larger process (process is not the correct word)
    • Lambda calculus provides a better mapping to algebra in my opinion.
    • The notational significance of the dx/dy notation vs Newton's notation is emphasized. Seems to the be the most common example.
    • Scientific communities are tool-rich cultures. Education does not seem to be.
    • Algebra, calculus, tables are representational tools.
    • Tools are abandoned as better tools come to forth.
    • Tools in schoool tend be an end in thomselves and are related to outcomes like "doing well in school"
    • Need to understand p-prims better.
    • Half a literacy is not enough to be revisited


    • The idea of teachers creating content is great
    • p-prim : phenomenological primitives

    Books to Read:

    • How People Learn
    • Turtle Geometry
    • Mindstorms
    • Windows on Mathematical Learning - Richard Noss and Celia Hoile


    • Three papers on young people's learning

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