Metacognition and Debugging

  • debugging is thinking about thinking - bugs in software are similar to "bugs" in us - it's possible to debug our thinking the same way as you can debug software
  • related to Constructionism

many children are held back in their learning because they have a model of learning in which you have either "got it" or "got it wrong." But when you learn to program a computer you almost never get it right the first time. Learning to be a master programmer is learning to become highly skilled at isolating and correcting "bugs," the parts that keep the program from working. The question to ask about the program is not whether it is right or wrong° but if it is fixable. If this way of looking at intellectual products were generalized to how the larger culture thinks about knowledge and its acquisition, we all might be less intimidated by our fears of "being wrong."

— Seymour Papert - Mindstorms

  • helps with seeing multiple takes on the same ideas, which helps with thinking for yourself (metacognition)
  • one realisation of this is Metacognition when Debugging - thinking about the possible problem in the algorithm allow us to think about our thinking process
Szymon Kaliski © 2021
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