Papert’s Constructionism: A felicitous partner of OEP

Linda van Ryneveld

University of Pretoria

It seems obvious that the use of open educational resources (OER) in a traditional classroom, where the main approach is still one of top-down instruction coupled with a final exam that tests memory, understanding and application, is not what is meant by open educational practice (OEP). The OER movement is widely acknowledged for its drive to provide high quality educational resources to teachers and learners everywhere, free of charge, for adaptation and reuse in a variety of contexts. Originally, in the early days of the OER movement, the focus seemed to have been primarily on the development of open content, accompanied by a drive to provide mechanisms that would ensure easy and reliable access to the newly-created and open digital content. In recent years, the development of OER policies and strategies has also been prioritised as institutions started to buy into the notion of openness. The logical next step is to focus on how OERs can be integrated into an established teaching practice. This is often not as easy, or intuitive, as one may expect. Using Papert’s notion that people learn effectively through constructing their own mental models and by making tangible objects, this paper explores the way in which a constructionist approach to teaching and learning, can partner felicitously with an open educational practice that values self-directed learning, inquiry-led problem solving and discovery learning.


Papert’s Constructionism: A felicitous partner of OEP from Open Education Consortium