In spite of decades of use of agent-based modelling in social policy research and in educational contexts, very little work has been done on combining the two. This paper accounts for a proof-of-concept single case-study conducted in a college-level Social Policy course, using agent-based modelling to teach students about the social and human aspects of urban planning and regional development. The study finds that an agent-based model helped a group of students think through a social policy design decision by acting as an object-to-think-with, and helped students better connect social policy outcomes with behaviours at the level of individual citizens. The study also suggests a set of new issues facing the design of Constructionist activities or environments for the social sciences.
LOGO has been evolving in incremental steps for 40 years. This has resulted in steady progress but some regions of the space of all programming languages for children cannot be reached without passing through unacceptable intermediate designs. What are the ultimate aims of LOGO? What criteria and aesthetics should be used in determining which areas of the design space are most promising? What would the ideal programming language look like? Would a family of special-purpose languages be more effective than a single language?
In looking to the future what can we learn from the history of LOGO? What can we learn from other programming systems for children? Alan Kay is leading a new project entitled, ``Steps toward the Reinvention of Programming''. What are its strengths and weaknesses?
We can conceptualise the design alternatives as defining an n-dimensional space. Some dimensions represent major alternatives for syntax, others for dealing with concurrency, others for the underlying computational models, and others for features of the programming environment.
The goal of this paper is to spur a discussion of these issues. I will present my personal opinions based upon 30 years of research experience in this field.