lifelong kindergarten

lifelong kinder.png

by Mitch Resnick



foreword – ken robinson


creativity moves hand in hand w tech – extend bodies and expand minds..


creativity is a step beyond imagination: it’s putting your imagination to work

creativity is not only incremental: it is collaborative..

a larger theme too. every child is born w immense natural talents.. how they develop has much to do w the environ they are raised and opps they are given..

why equity (everyone getting a go everyday) matters


resnick pithily says, kindergarten is now becoming like the rest of school. in this book, he argues the opposite, that the rest of school (indeed, the rest of life) should become more like kindergarten. i’m sure he’s right..

so let’s do/facil that.. ie: 1 yr to be 5.. via 2 convos .. as the day

as it could be

1 – creative learning


how can we help young people develop as creative thinkers so that they’re prepared for life in this ever changing world? that’s the central question of this book and it’s the question that has motivated m work (and my life) over the past three decades


in my work, my ultimate goal is a world *full of creative people – x people – who are constantly developing new possibilities for themselves and their communities..t

eudaimoniative surplus


although froebel certainly didn’t know it a the time (200ish yrs ago – 1837) he was inventing an approach to ed that is ideally suited in the needs of the 21st cent – and not just for five yr olds but for learner of all ages..

1 yr to be 5 as mech/detox

let’s leap there..

prior to froebel’s first kinder – 1837.. most schools were based on what might be called a broadcast approach to ed.. that is the teacher stood in front of the classroom and broadcast info..


froebel know that this approach wouldn’t work for 5 yr olds.. he understood that young children lean best by interacting w the world around them.. also created a collections of 20 new toys.. froebel’s gifts: geometric tiles (mosaic patterns); blocks (to build); colored papers (origami folding ness); sicks and peas (3d structures).. so they could re create models of the world they saw around them

also recognized the connection between re creation and recreation. he understood that kinder children are most likely to create and build when they are engaged in playful, imaginative activities..


maria montessori built upon froebel’s ideas

buckminster fuller used froebel’s toothpicks and peas to experiment w triangular structure in kindergarten, and he later credited those early explorations as the underpinnings of his work on geodesic domes..

frank lloyd wright said his boyhood experiences w froebel’s gifts served as foundation for his architecture..

wooden blocks.. lego bricks.. cuisenaire rods.. pattern blocks.. tinkertoys.. all viewed as descendants of froebel’s gifts


today.. kindergarten becoming like the rest of school.. i argue for rest of school/life become more like kinder..t

as it could be.. ie: 1 yr to be 5.. via 2 convos .. as the day


creative learning spiral: imagine.. create.. play.. share.. reflect.. imagine..

be you web ness


unfortunately.. after kinder.. most schools shift away from spiral.. it doesn’t need to be that way.. in our grad program at mit media lab..students spend very little time in classroom.. they’re constantly working on projects.. guided by spiral: rapidly build prototypes, play with them, share their prototypes w others, reflect on what they’ve learned..


the spiral work in kindergartens and at the mit media lab.. how can we help it take root everywhere else..t

do this first


at lab we believe the best way to cultivate creativity is to support people working on projects based on their passions, in collab w peers and in a playful spirit


w apologies to john lennon – all we’re saying is give p’s a chance


most parent don’t put a high priority on how well their children can express themselves artistically.. they say it would be nice.. but not essential.. i often use phrase: creative thinking.. less likely to focus on artistic expression and more likely to see it as something essential for children’s future..


one educator said that it was a very important for us to develop better methods for assessing creativity so that we could id those students w greatest capacity to be creative. in my mind, that’s exactly the wrong view. everyone can be (little c) creative, and we need to help everyone reach their full creative potential..

via 2 convos .. in the city.. as the day..

has to be all of us

2 – projects


over yrs many educators/researchers have advocated learning by doing.. but in the culture of the maker movement. it’s not enough to do something: you need to make something.. according to the maker ethic, the most valuable learning experiences come when you’re actively engaged in designing, building, or creating something.. when you’re learning thru making..


papert and piaget: children don’t get ideas, the make ideas

for seymour.. computers were not a replacement for the teacher but a  new medium of expression.. a new tool for making things..


seymour called his approach constructionism.. because it brings together two types of construction: in head and in world..

logo – child programs computer – acquires sense of mastery and establishes intimate contact w some of deepest ideas from science.. math..intellectual model building

turtle – so named because it used a hemispherical shell to protect its electronics

seymour – mindstorms


rather than toys that think i’m more interested in toys to think with.. why i’ve always been attracted to lego bricks..


scratch as digital equiv of the lego construction kit


gever and brightworks

3 – passion


papert: low floors (easy way to get started); high ceilings (ways to work on increasingly sophisticated).. and mitch adds.. wide walls (wide range of diff types of projects)


if projects are all similar to one another.. we feel something has gone wrong; walls weren’t wide enough


scratch – no badges… no competition.. intrinsic motivation key to long term engagement and creativity

if need for incentive.. competition.. doing it wrong.. not us


to address this challenge (structure/freedom continuum) we are creating a collection of interest based microworlds..t

imagine listening to 7 bn curiosities everyday.. then connecting people locally w similar curiosities.. as microworlds


engage in what they’re doing already in everyday lives

rev of every day life ness

6 – peers


having grown up in the pre internet era, i find i’m not nearly as creative in developing or anticipating) new forms of collab as my mit students.. or kids in scratch.. i expect that future gens of kids could become even more creative in ways they share and collab..t.. if we provide them w the right tools  support and opps to do so

dang Mitch.. let’s try tech as it could be

ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way


why we chose the name scratch; it comes from the ‘scratching’ technique used by hip hop disc jockeys, who mix music clips together in creative ways..

each project on site prominently features a big .. see inside.. button.. click the button and you get access to all the programming scripts and media assets .. you can drag any .. into your ‘backpack” to use later.. or can click remix to get own copy of project.. free to mod


while remixing has sparked creativity in scratch community, it’s also led to controversy.. some aren’t happy when  their projects are remixed..

in general we try to be responsive to suggestion from the scratch community, but not in this case. the ability to remix is tightly aligned w our core values of openness and creativity..


not surprising that many scratchers are skeptical about remixing. at school, students are taught to do their own work..building on work of others is typically seen as cheating..  we’re trying to shift the way that kids think about these issues.. our goal is to create a culture in which scratchers feel proud, not upset, when their projects are adapted and remixed by others..


alison gopnik: when children think they are being taught.. much more likely to simply reproduce what adult does, instead of creating something new


clearly there are big problems w the traditional teaching strategy of delivering instruction and info. so what’s the alt? some people go to the opposite extreme arguing that childdren are nautally curious and can figure everything out on their own.. 1\ deliver   2\ leave children alone


good teacher/mentors move fludklya mong the rooles of catalyst, consutlant, conector, and collaborator

not sure about catalyst..  i think that’s just because we’re so used to school.. i think the spark..curiosity.. has to come from w in..  so a bit dangerous.. although .. Mitch describes it nice.. (if that can be upheld) .. spark as a question when stuck.. ie: what’s most surporisted to you.. what would you change.. and too.. his talk about collab – sounds like modeling alongside ness


children can’t learn everything on their own, even if they’re working together, supported by their peers. a group of children even very bright and curious children, *won’t reinvent calculus on their own .. or even **recognize the need for calculus

*disagree and **then there’s no need (for them)

peers aren’t always enough

totally agree.. and certainly aren’t always best.. that’s why.. in the city.. ness matters.. all of us.. cross generational et al

sugata’s minimally invasive ed



i was glad the hole in the wall experiment opened people’s euyes to teh extraordinary potential of all children..

on the other hand, i was worreid that some people over interpreted the hle in the wall results.. ie: that chldren could learn almost anyting on own or with peers if only had access to computers and intenet..  although chldren quicklylearned how to naviage to popular websites and use basic applicatoins.. few of them were able to use th ehole in the wall compuer for desinging ..c reagin.. and expressing themselves.. they learned to find/play geams on comptuer.. but didn’t create own games.. learned to browse web.. but didn’t create own websites..

wow.. no one was doing much of that at that time..

sugata realining this in soles and adding granny in the cloud

again.. yeah.. but that’s not just kids.. all of us need all ages.. adults need kids’ perspective.. so either don’t use word: peers.. use people.. or .. define peers as: anyone you happen to be working with.. (that’s what i thought you meant originally)

5 – play


play doesn’t require open spaces or expensive toys; it requires a combo of curiosity, imagination and experimentation



on being more about playfulness (attitude) rather than play (activity)


when we org workshops for kids.. we always try to support playground style play.. we provide various structure to help kids get started. for a lego robotic workshop for ie.. we’ll usually suggest a them fro the workshop like ‘underwater adventure’ or interactive garden’ to help spark ideas and encourage collab among workshop participants.. we’ll also show sample mech that demo diff types of motions and provide a sense of what’s possible.. but we feel it’s important for kids in workshop to come up with their own ideas and plans..

so.. perhaps beyond playground style.. we need to trust enough for.. hg/wilderness/city style.. meaning.. don’t set the stage.. then say it’s their own idea


minecraft and scratch as playground style

i’d rather not do either of those.. so what are my options..?


tinkering is at the intersection of playing and making

schools tend to emphasize the value of planning over tinkering.. planning seems more.. efficient.. tinkering is messier..

joi: you don’t get lucky if you plan everything


no prep.. no train

sometimes tinkerers start w/o a goal

i wish that was the default


we should focus on figuring out ways to help all children, of all backgrounds and learning styles, reach their full potential. *how can we develop techs, activities, and courses that engage and support all diff types of learners..

*let go.. have to let go to get to as it could be


ideally, all *children should have the opp to engage w the world in a style that’s most natural and comfortable for them – but also have **experience w other styles.. so they can shift strategies as situation warrants

equity.. *everyone getting a go everyday.. **in the city.. as the day..


carol dweck – growth mindset.. expecting mistakes.. learn from them



there are some good arguments for standardized exams. there’s a need for accountability (are tax dollars being well spent) feedback for teachers (are their teaching methods working well).. and feedback fro students ( do they have misunderstandings and misconceptions..

those are all irrelevant.. to learning

but are standardized exams measuring the right things..

rather.. is measuring the right thing

efforts now to develop better quantitative measure of creative thinking..  people think..everything can be quantitatively measured if we just figure out the *right data to collect.. i’m skeptical..william cameron: not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted

*good question though.. are we gathering right data?.. not currently.. let’s focus on ie: self-talk as data

and then.. not measure it.. use it.. to connect people to their tribe.. everyday


rather than just trying to measure what children lean (thru numbers) we also need to document what children learn (thru compiling ies) .. rather than assess b giving an exa.. we should work w children to document their projects..

why document if not using that documentation for further connection.. (because it sounds like here.. documenting as in credentialing)

6 – creative society


loris malaguzzi laid the foundation for the reggio approach: the child has a hundred languages a hundred hands a hundred thoughts a hundred ways of thinking of playing of spekaing

we need to support a hundred language s (or more) for everyone everywhere..t

yes.. let’s.. ie: idio-jargon


tips for learners: 1\ start simple.. 2\ work on things you like (natalie rusk: interests are a *natural resource that fuels learning).. 3\ if no clue what to do..fiddle around.. something **whimsical.. let curiosity be your guide.. 4\ don’t be afraid to ***experiment.. 5\ ****find a friend.. 6\ it’s ok to copy stuff.. 7\ keep ideas in *****sketchbook.. 8\ build.. take apart.. and rebuild.. 9\ stick with ******it.. 10\ create own learning tips

*why grit ness .. ** whimsy matters..  ***experiment..  ****via 2 convos.. *****document everything ness ie: hlb.. ******and too.. the it is me..


tips for parents/teachers: 1\ imagine: *show ie’s to spark ideas. 2\ imagine: encourage messing around. 3\ create: provide wide variety of materials  4\ create: embrace all types of making .. 5\ play: emphasize process not product.. 6\ play: extend time for projects.. 7\ share: play role of matchmaker.. 8\ share: get involved as collaborator.. 9\ reflect: ask authentic questions.. 10\ reflect: share own reflections



tips for designers/developers: 1\ design for designers.. 2\ support low floors and high ceilings.. (easy to start but ability to get complex).. 3\ widen the walls (allow for many diff pathways from low floors to high ceilings).. 4\ connect w both interests and ideas (enabling kids to work on projects they really care about while also providing an *authentic way form them to engage w important ideas).. 5\ prioritize simplicity.. 6\ understand deeply the people your’e designing for (not enough to ask people what they think or what they want need to **watch what they do too).. 7\ invent thing you want to use yourself.. 8\ put together ***small interdisciplinary design team.. 9\ ****control the design but leverage the crowd.. 10\ iterate.. iterate..

**how is it authentic if they’re not deciding what’s important..? .. **what they do when..? when they’re working with your  techs/systems..?.. ***?so much work in this section.. why not just trust kids.. ****?control and leverage..?


we need to break down barriers across age/space/time, allowing people of all ages to learn w and from one another

ok.. let’s do that..

1 yr to be 5


we need to develop better *techs, activities, and strategies for engaging children in creative learning activities..  we need to create more **places.. and come up with better ways to ***document

*as it could be.. **in the city.. ***hlb via 2 convos

ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way


アベ先生 (CV: 阿部和広) (@abee2) tweeted at 5:59 AM – 22 Mar 2018 :

The cover of the Japanese edition of @mres’s “Lifelong Kindergarten” is unveiled. It will be published on April 12. @joi gave nice preface for it. @ardbeg1958 did excellent translation. @uptownyumiko and I provided additional articles. @a_taj edited all of them. Thank you all!



1 yr to be 5

as it could be

ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way





from your book

the spiral work in kindergartens and at the mit media lab.. how can we help it take root everywhere else

we need to break down barriers across age/space/time, allowing people of all ages to learn w and from one another

and this one to be more specific

we need to develop better *techs, activities, and strategies for engaging children in creative learning activities..  we need to create more **places.. and come up with better ways to ***document

perhaps there is a means for 7bn people to leap to a nother way to live where:
*tech is as it could be.. **placed in the city.. ***documented hlb via 2 convos


Mitchel Resnick (@mres) tweeted at 4:53 AM – 29 Mar 2018 :

Here’s audio and video from my #LifelongKindergarten webinar with @mizuko earlier this week


10 min – in order to make it safe you have to make it restrictive.. we wanted to make it safe and expressive

15 min – key.. getting the balance of interest and ideas.. if kids are interested to keep at it.. and the institutions see that they will be exposed to ideas

? why can’t we let go of that second part..? perhaps that’s why it hasn’t yet scaled to global freedom..

17 min – an ongoing issue for us.. can it take root in a school setting and not loose initial values

20 min – creative learning is this overarching umbrella.. but might need to learn specific skills.. may be in a much more structured ways.. ie: kahn academy video in the middle of working on a project.. i’d prefer to see getting instruction in the context in working on these meaningful projects..

22 min – people say basics first then projects.. via seymour: it should be understand thru using.. rather than understand and then use

mimi: learning should be purposeful and not preparatory..t

no train

as it could be

25 min – for me.. creativity is fundamental for everyone..

27 min – mimi: connection to opportunity.. for that equity piece.. ie: recoginized by schools..

that’s opp..? let’s go with this opp: everyone getting a go everyday

28 min – wouldn’t want creativity to just be geeking out w/o adults/teachers.. want it to be creativity in schools…

29 min – i worry if we just move away (from school) for a creative learning approach not going to work for the long term.. it’s not going to be the success that’s going to prepare kids for what they really need in the future.. if they’re in the work place or outside.. so i still want to bring this to the academic setting..t

so prep..

that’s what’s keeping us from long term..

30 min – what i really want to stay away from is kids doing things just for rewards..  documentation is good.. but sometimes these get to tied together..

31 min – mimi: (talking about intrinsic vs rewards).. there are some kids who aren’t going to come to you with some burning personal passion but if something creative is something that can help display their worth to their peers.. or if it’s part of the resume they’re building for college.. that may be for some kids the thing that pushes them into the activity *we’re interested in pursuing..t

who’s the we..?

dang. let go.

32 min – kids often don’t know what their interests are.. so it’s *not always easy to help find and define interests.. so part of it is we have to realize it’s a challenge to help kids id and follow their interests..t

they do at say..4 till we start deciding what they’re interests should be

we need to set them free (quit confining/stifling them from 4 on).. and quit seeking to find/define interests.. let go.. and just listen.. as it could be

33 min – sometimes.. kids become interested in something because they want to be interested in what their friends are interested in..  it’s a way of getting started.. then you continue to develop that interest..

not sustainable..

for me.. diff of doing because friends are interested.. vs status

fine line.. ie: maté trump law

35 min – mimi – we do know what you’re describing is the friendship effect.. if no friends involved in it won’t have interest.. that’s pretty clear in the research

dang mimi.. gray research law

mimi: so i don’t think status is really a bad thing.. it’s more about legitimizing

dang.. thinking we have to legitimize any kid’s (person’s) curiosity is poison.. let go

mimi: we find that kids enter into *what we would recognize as the learning space thru these diverse kind of motivators.. and pragmatically speaking we want to **leverage those as much as possible..t

**then.. *let go (of what you would recognize as a space that’s needed)

36 min – mimi: we have a pretty shared vision of what we want the learning to look like.. but we might have different strategies for bringing kids there

whoa.. let go.. dang..

50 min – still a big challenge.. to support an ongoing online community that’s sharing .. building on each other’s ideas..t

2 convos.. as it could be


Trailer »Früchte des Lebens« (Deutsch).. ht @SchoolsOfTrust

2 min trailer (2019)

kindergarten for the entire family