Mathetics or didactics?

It all started with the appearance of the wild boy of Aveyron (1799). He was the first feral child being studied serious.

Structured learning, provided by adults, following a plan, could help this wild boy, was the thesis of Itard and Sequin. Their approach was an example for Maria Montessori, later.

Others, like Rousseau, saw it totally different: nature educates, and people can hardly add something to it.

The following part of a movie, made by Fran├žois Truffaut, shows the moment that the wild boy was caught, in the woods of the Aveyron.



Living in the metaverse?

Augmented reality: the real world extended

Adding and enhancing the real world with some kind of information is booming now. It is often described as augmented reality. Using Internet, rfid, gps, smart tags and portable or wearable information can add substantial information to real life objects. 3-D environments offer ideal spaces for social and economic experimentation.

At the MIT some researchers think we will have a kind of 3-D metaverse, in which the boundaries between real world and virtual worlds are blurring rapidly. They assume that, by the end of 2011, 80% of all internet users will have created virtual selves.

Depending on age and culture the question is what the effects of these new possibilities could have on the development and perception and learning of people.

In Japan many working man and woman are accustomed to a kind of virtual state of being, in which imagination and desire are mixed to a world that is called "mizu shobai".
In the novel "Norwegian Wood"from the japanese author Haruki Murakami, something of this culturally determined behavior can be felt.

Living in virtual worlds has been growing gradually. When children are in a
car, they have already the experience of an inside and an outside world. Hearing
the radio in the car, saying that there is an accident in front of them,
suddenly seeing the terrible results from the car, causes already the basic
effect of a split world.

The extend of these experiences, leading to a state of living in which we are immersed in these areas in which reality and virtuality are constantly mixed, is larger and widespread over more people than before.

From a point of neuropsychology and mathetics, there could be very rich moments in such experiences. Research however is scarce and not always reliable and valid enough.

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