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Re: [school-discuss] my puzzle about OSS in education

On Thu, 2005-06-02 at 11:28, Miles Berry wrote:
> wen heping wrote:
> >  Do you think using OSS in schools have any other advantage?  
> For our part the philosophy behind open source software was far closer
> to that which underpinned our view of education. I suspect we're not
> unusual in this, given the historically close links between higher
> education and open source software development. Others have noted
> similar parallels between the scientific method and the process through
> which OSS code develops.
> I wrote the following for the schoolforge.org.uk site, but it may be of
> interest to a wider audience:
> "There is an increasingly broad consensus around what constitutes good
> learning, which is perhaps best seen as a guided process of knowledge
> construction. This is underpinned by a constructivist epistemological
> paradigm, in which knowledge is actively constructed by the learner,
> rather than being passively received from the teacher or the
> environment: this is of course supported and mirrored by software that
> the user can help to construct.
> A consensus also exists around effective approaches to education, most
> of which are analagous to aspects of open source software development.
> Effective approaches to learning are characterized by:
>      * participation, as users and a community of developers participate
> in the development of FLOSS software
>      * reflective thinking, part of coding in general, but particularly
> promoted by community discussion of code, and by having the source code
> open to the scrutiny of ones peers
>      * collaboration, again a characteristic of a community based
> approach to software decelopment
>      * intrinsic motivation, FLOSS developers often code because they
> love to, rather than for financial reward, although this helps
>      * a well structured knowledge base, again the open souce aspect
> provides motivation for documenting ones work, as does the communal
> construction of documentation, support forums, wikis etc.
>      * problem solving, an experience known to most programmers, and it
> could be argued, many end users of FLOSS programs.
> Such approaches are based on a social constructivist approach to
> education, in which knowledge is created through the interactions and
> relationships within a community, or classroom. This is mirrored by the
> community approach to development that characterizes most FLOSS projects.
> ...
> If the above are values to which we aspire in our schools and
> classrooms, then shouldn't the software we use to help us towards them
> itself embody the same processes and aspirations?"


May I use this (for non-commercial purposes and with attribution)? This
elegantly sums up what I've been trying to say rather clumsily for many

Excellent work!