Friday math movie - The Maggie Sort Algorithm

By Murray Bourne, 11 Sep 2009

Play is a vital part of learning from day one, for all of us.

It's sad that formal schooling often discourages play and meaningful discovery in the rush to "cover the content".

Maggie enjoys what she is doing in this clip. There is no "motivating" test at the end - she has an appropriate challenge and she works on it until done. Her satisfaction arises from successful completion and she has some ownership for what she has achieved.

And that's the point of games, of course. None of us mind "hard fun" - this gives us the motivation to work obsessively on interesting challenges.

Maggie's father writes in the intro to this movie:

My 19 month old daughter researches sorting algorithms. The recursion appears to have dependence on a isNextLargest() function.

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