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Lifelong Kindergarten: Cultivating Creativity Through Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  687 ratings  ·  98 reviews
How lessons from kindergarten can help everyone develop the creative thinking skills needed to thrive in today's society.

In kindergartens these days, children spend more time with math worksheets and phonics flashcards than building blocks and finger paint. Kindergarten is becoming more like the rest of school. In Lifelong Kindergarten, learning expert Mitchel Resnick argu
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published August 25th 2017 by MIT Press
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Katrina Sark
1 – Creative Learning

p.4 – Today’s young people will be confronted with new and unexpected situations throughout their lives. They must learn to deal creatively with uncertainty and change – not only in their work-lives, but also in personal lives (how to develop and sustain friendships in an era of ever-changing social networks) and their civic lives (how to participate meaningfully in communities that have ever-shifting needs and boundaries).

p.6 – Most people do not think of kindergarten as a
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
While I wish the book was not specifically about Scratch (online learning community and programming language), I LOVE so many ideas and points brought up through each chapter. I kept thinking, Yes! Yes! Yes!, to myself as I was reading.

I am intrigued to look more into Scratch and try it out for myself… but I would have liked the cover and book’s summary to have made this major focus of the book more apparent.

[Note to self – the first and last chapters are my FAVS.]
Greg Jarmiolowski
I wanted to love it. The ideas behind the lifelong learning program at MIT are very interesting but the author seemed to just keep going back to Scratch as if it is the only project worth talking about.
Rachel Bayles
Oct 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Hopeful. Positive. Some ideas are more hopeful than others. I think the author occasionally engages in overreach, but he's clearly a man who is doing a lot of good in the world, and he gets much more right than he gets wrong. ...more
Carolyn Kost
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: education
In The Chronicle of Higher Education, the interview with the author, a prof at MIT, was promising enough to prompt me to acquire the book. Resnick attempts to answer the question, “How can we help young people develop as creative thinkers so that they’re prepared for life in this ever-changing world?” but there isn't anything particularly new or engaging here. The structure of the book is based on the theory that Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play are the foundation for creative learning. Do not ...more
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, adult
I saw Mitch speak at a Scratch conference... and I had watched his Tedtalk, so I know what I was getting into when I started this book. YES, it is Scratch heavy, but this is his lifelong work. The thing is he has some interesting ideas about breaking down the current education model. He has big ideas like not having teachers dictate curriculum to students; and small ideas like putting tables together in pods with chairs on wheels. I found things to think about and things I could do now in this b ...more
Suzanne Gibbs
Loved his ideas. Did not like how he kept presenting his own businesses and work as the only back-up for the ideas he presented. Possibly could have been an excellent long article or essay, instead of an entire book.
Alex Linschoten
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: education, coding
A delightful exploration of learning, creativity and the structure that allows for all of that to happen. Lots of responses / thoughts generated while reading this short book.
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, education
Wonderfully simple but elegant description of the thinking behind Scratch and LLK's approach to creative learning. The compare and contrast between the different ways people encourage creativity and motivation in children was fascinating. ...more
Connor Osborn
I discovered the book after reading (and feeling completely changed by) Seymour Papert's Mindstorms. Mitchel Resnick was influenced by Papert, and I was curious what I could gleam from his life's work.

I found myself nodding to much of the sentiment: that learners construct knowledge rather than receive knowledge, that structured teaching and play is low risk and more importantly low reward, that you cannot unilaterally push for increased student performance and expect creative learning.

The latte
Sep 11, 2018 rated it liked it
I liked exploring the author’s research and ideas about creative learning, but this book did not explore kindergarten principles and apply them to lifelong learning, but rather summarized kindergarten as creative and play-based and then went on to explore creativity solely through the lens of the Scratch program. It was interesting, and I’ll definitely encourage the use of Scratch for my kids when they’re old enough (we do use Scratch Jr.), but I felt misled about the content of the book. At lea ...more
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food-for-thought
As someone who has taught Scratch through an educational outreach program, I enjoyed learning how the Scratch programming language and online community support Mitch Resnick’s belief that creativity can be cultivated through the creation of passion projects, sharing and collaborating with peers, and dedicating time to constructive play.
Nov 20, 2018 rated it liked it
so much scratch that i had to learn to scratch.
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
The author makes good points, but the writing style wasn't for me, nor was the emphasis on Scratch. I can't say I learned much, but I agreed with a lot of what I read. ...more
Jao Bautista
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For July, my #1bookAmonth takes me to Learning Sciences. I admit that the initial reason why I bought this book was because it has a foreword by Sir Ken Robinson—featured speaker in the most watched Ted Talk video where he spoke about how the existing education system kills creativity. But the other reason why I’m reading this non-fic is because I’m curious about the outcome of the author Mitchel Resnick’s partnership with MIT Media Lab. Resnick is an expert in educational technologies while the ...more
Eden Silverstein
Jul 08, 2019 rated it really liked it

The book is well written and engaging. Resnick's writing is very approachable. I think the book is intended to be read from start to finish. (If you're specifically looking for actionable tips for cultivating creativity as a student, a parent/educator, or a designer/developer, you could skip to Chapter 6. Creative Society, pages 162-179, Ten Tips for Learners, Ten Tips for Parents and Teachers, Ten Tips for Designers and Developers. Skipping to Chapter 6 doesn't lessen the digestibility of the t
Patricia Kidder
I selected this book as one of the titles for our faculty summer reading. Based on its title, I thought it would be much more focused on "old school" play ala Richard Louv and "Last Child in the Woods" and I anticipated there would be some techno-bashing. Boy was I wrong. While there are many good ideas/messages inherent in the book, I thought it was one big promo for the MIT developed Scratch ( The book discusses techno-enthusiasts and techno-skeptics, with little sugg ...more
Jo Oehrlein
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
For non-fiction a pretty quick read.

It has 6 chapters, basically an intro, a conclusion, and a chapter each on projects, passion, peers, and play.

His focus is on project-based learning, following your interest, collaborating with others (not just age/ability/knowledge peers, but those with more knowledge and those with complementary knowledge/interests), and approaching things from a tinkerer perspective (not someone who just follows the instructions or plans everything out in advance).

Love the
Shannon Clark
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My son just entered kindergarten earlier this year and as I have gotten involved with the parents group at his school I have offered to help with the development of a Maker Space for the kids at the school. In getting ready to help with this Maker Space I went looking for some resources and sources for ideas around similar experiences at other schools (and museums etc).

That lead me to Lifelong Kindergarten which isn't just (or even primarily) about maker spaces - or really about Kindergarten. I
Max Krieger
Apr 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Many wonderful insights, particularly around tool design and community practices in the computer clubhouses and Scratch. I also appreciated the deep integration of Papert's legacy. The book is certainly valuable for those in the creative/education space.

I just wish there was more on the eponymous "lifelong" -- it fixated on a narrow band of activities and young ages instead. Humanity's best work came from the very processes Mitch describes, and I wish there was more reflection on this, beyond th
Oct 08, 2017 rated it liked it
It's hard to rate this book. I consider Mitch on of my teachers whom I learned a lot from through the past 5 years. I am trying to apply what I learned from him and his research group through my work with learners from all ages and I feel so grateful that I learned about his work. Because of my familiarity with his work this book didn't bring new things for me, however, it was good to see it all in one book.
I just wished to see examples and stories from different projects in his research group
Zac Chase
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you know Resnick, this is for you

Sometimes, I struggle reading Mitch’s work because of his style and tone. He’s a man wound up in wonderful ideas and possibilities. Sometimes, this gives the book a feeling of being a step and a half removed from classroom teachers new to this kind of thinking. This is not a primer, and I didn’t want to be. Building on his years of work with Scratch, Resnick brings forward the tectonic views of Seymour Papert, and gives them new breath and perspective. I enjoy
Aug 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Michael Resnick's "Lifelong Kindergarten". I happened to come across it at the Harvard Bookstore and it seemed like the perfect quick read, especially for those interested in design, technology, and/or education. This book focuses on Resnick's approach to cultivating the decreasing skill of creativity in our youth through the 4 P's: projects, passions, peers, and play. Although this book is aimed towards educators, parents, or anyone with interests in mentoring youth ...more
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edu
A progressive approach towards learning, that focuses on building a generation of lifelong learners who immerse themselves in creating, making, and exploring in a personalized way that replace structured curriculums with curriculums focused on integrating technology and coding, designed to enforce tinkering, inquiry-based and project-based learning. Mitchel starts by indicated the design cycle of every positive learning process, emphasizing the importance of the process of every idea behind any ...more
Dec 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education
A progressive approach towards learning that focuses on building a generation of lifelong learners who immerse themselves in creating, making, and exploring. Following a personalized model the book alters structured curriculums with tinker environments that push for inquiry-based learning. Mitchel begins by indicating the design cycle of every positive learning process, emphasizing the importance of the process of every idea behind any creation. This approach does not cancel the role of the teac ...more
Kena Pinedo
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although this book discusses Scratch, I felt that the overall message really inspired me to create a spark of creativity in my own classroom. I see when my students have more choices, they are more engaged and Lifelong Kindergarten demonstrates how the 4 p really plays a part in children's' learning. The book does refer to Scratch as the underlying topic, but it only reinforces the importance of projects, passion, peers, and play. It gives insight into how these 4 p's can significantly increase ...more
Aug 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great ideas and nuggets of information, but the author took an isolated approach by promoting his own projects rather than reaching more holistically across educational tools to promote his pedagogical theories. His project is very neat and I want to review more (Scratch), and I wanted an author who proposed other solutions and options for educators to adopt his theories. It seemed like Scratch or nothing, rather than the option to include play in multiple ways throughout the educational system, ...more
Nov 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enlightening & Inspiring

A fascinating read. Required for one of my graduate classes, but wasn't a bore. Actually, I found myself reading ahead of the syllabus. A lot of useful information for educators, both current and future. Requires an open mind and potentially a willingness to change or alter your thinking. If only my own K-12 classes were run like the ways Resnik discusses in this book, maybe I would have enjoyed school. Hopefully I'll be able to integrate some of these ideas in my own cla
Margaret Klein
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
This is a great book and confirms what I think about the role of curriculum spiral and project based learning. I like his four pillars--projects, passion, peers, play. And I love the concept of teaching kids to be creative thinkers (and problem solvers?). However, I worry that in an age of standardized testing with a heavy emphasis on one correct answer, we are no longer interested in critical thinking let alone creative thinking. This scares me. I also felt the book itself wound up being a litt ...more
Tait Jensen
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Resnick argues something that we already know: it's important to foster creativity in children. This is not a work devoted to practical execution, however. As a high school social studies teacher, I would love to incorporate more project-based learning into my curriculum. But I am pressed on all sides by the demands of my school, the demands of the state, and, ultimately, the tyranny of standards-based instruction. Does Resnick inspire? No doubt. Does he offer guidance to public school teachers? ...more
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“Along the way, I began to develop an understanding about not only the process for making a miniature golf course, but the general process for making anything: how to start with an initial idea, develop preliminary plans, create a first version, try it out, ask other people to try it out, revise plans based on what happens—and keep doing that, over and over. By working on my project, I was gaining experience with the Creative Learning Spiral.” 1 likes
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