Constructionism and the shifting from didactics to mathetics

International Journal of Development Research

Article ID: 
6 pages
Review Article

Constructionism and the shifting from didactics to mathetics

Carlos Nogueira Fino


In his work Spicilegium Didacticum, published in 1680, Comenius discusses mathetics (Mathetica, or ars discendi) and didactics (Didactica or ars docendi). But, unlike didactics, which curriculum development placed at the centre of the teacher-student relationship and teacher education elected as one of its essential elements, mathetics has remained almost always implied, as if it were a mere by-product or simply a consequence of didactics. This tradition has been challenged by Seymour Papert, particularly in his major works (1980, 1993, 1996), in which he rehabilitates the importance and the primacy of mathetics by associating it to his pedagogical proposal - the constructionism -, which is a radical extension of Piagetian constructivism brought to the field of pedagogy and involving the use of ICT. This paper, of a theoretical nature, revisits Papert’s constructionism, especially as it stresses the need to achieve maximum learning with minimal teaching, which relocates mathetic and heuristic processes to the centre of pedagogical settings

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