In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong. In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities. Carol Dweck, Mindset
In developing technologies for older learners, we try to achieve a similar effect. Our guiding principle is “many paths, many styles” – that is, to develop technologies that can be used along many different paths, by children with many different styles. Too often, educational technologies are overly constrained, such as tutoring software for teaching algebra, or simulation software for modeling planetary motion in the solar system. Our goal is to provide tools that can be used in multiple ways, leaving more room for children’s imaginations. Mitch Resnick, All I Really Need to Know (About Creative Thinking)I Learned (By Studying How Children Learn) in Kindergarten*
I can identify examples (as an existence proof) that constructionism can work for adults as well as children.
Teachers know that if you want to learn a new subject, sign up to teach the new subject. Constructing the course and teaching it to others is a great way of developing that knowledge.
Programmers take on new projects to learn a new method, language, context, or community. My former PhD student, Mike Hewner, wanted to know what professional game development was like. Because he’s an exceptional software engineer, he was able to land himself an internship with a game company one summer (with no prior game experience), explicitly to learn game development.