From Plato to Vygotsky

“Enforced exercise does no harm to the body, but enforced learning will not stay in the mind. So avoid compulsion, and let your children’s lessons take the form of play.(Plato, The Republic, vii, 536, in Cornford, 1945)

From ancient philosophy to modern science, learning about learning evolves and shifts and yet some elements remain constant. For Plato in the fourth century B.C., and for Vygotsky and others in the 20th, the learner is an active playful protagonist in his or her own learning.

Given the pace of communication and information bombarding daily life, learning is becoming more complex in the 21st century, yet children everywhere are naturally curious and constantly engaged in trying to make sense of the world around them. Twenty-first century learners navigate and think through complex challenges and generate solutions by synthesizing, transforming and applying information in innovative ways. In addition, they communicate and make their thinking visible in collaborative and creative ways.

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