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Garden with Insight v1.0 Help: microworld

Microworld is a term coined by Seymour Papert in his book Mindstorms (1980). A microworld is a learning environment characterized by these qualities:

gif/20000000.gif It is self-contained, that is, it has a limited scope. This makes it easier for students to concentrate on exploring particular questions without extraneous information.
gif/20000000.gif The universe of possible actions is constrained, which simplifies the choices to be made and gives the student tools with which to make decisions.
gif/20000000.gif Basic concepts are related in some way to concrete realizations. For example, in Papert's LOGO language, the movements of a turtle are used to introduce students to problem-solving and programming. Thus new knowledge builds on existing personal knowledge of things in the real world.
gif/20000000.gif The environment is easy to use and allows the student to operate with a variety of skill levels. Experiences build on experiences to draw the student in to more complicated questions.
gif/20000000.gif The environment engages the student in an exciting process of learning because the environment is rich in a variety of questions that can be posed and hypotheses that can be tested.
gif/20000000.gif The environment is open- ended and thus allows students to learn by designing, thus actively involving their curiosity and engaging their habits of exploration in scientific theory construction.

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Updated: May 4, 1998. Questions/comments on site to
Copyright © 1998 Paul D. Fernhout & Cynthia F. Kurtz.