He is teaching himself Scratch, reading the MIT's Open Course Ware Readings on The Nature of Constructionist Learning (some great readings in this list) and then blogging about his learning process as it develops
Does the perception that Papert is a purist who has been advocating never teach anything directly to the learner come from Papert himself?
Currently, JT is agonising about this and I left a comment on his blog because I went through a similar agonising about breaking down the wall between behaviourism and constructionism when developing quadratics drill software in logo for my students
I think the origins of this purist perception comes from Piaget:
In order for a child to understand something, he must construct it himself, he must reinvent it. Every time we teach a child something, we keep him from inventing it himself.However, this position was repudiated both by Papert and even more clearly by Kevin McGee in his 1992 thesis, Play and the Genesis of Middle Manager Agents (I have a hard copy):
Piaget's statement is ... potentially dangerous ... There are two processes being alluded to in Piaget's remark. On the one hand, there is the standard constructivist view that all knowledge is ultimately constructed by the individual. On the other hand, there is the further implication that it is somehow bad for individuals not to "reinvent the wheel" by themselves. One way to think about this is in terms of the difference between bringing about agent-conflict and resolving agent-conflict. Individuals need to be able to do both - and any approach to learning which de-emphasises one is seriously limited ...Kevin McGee was one of Papert's students. Another thought here is that Idit Harel (another Papert student) developed her theoretical approach by combining Vygotsky's zone of proximal development with Papert's constructionism. Really the teacher sets up a zone of appropriate struggle through the environment they help co-create with their students.
If we really accept Piaget's strong emphasis on the large-scale, self-equilibrating, systemic nature of mind, then the debate over whether to give students answers or make them struggle for them falls almost entirely outside of the problem of conceptual innovation... it is not possible to give "answers" to individuals who don't have a question (don't perceive a problem to be solved); "making them struggle" is pointless since they have no idea what it is they are struggling for.
It is important to critique Piaget's "invention" quote seriously ... because a misreading of it seems to underly so much bad constructivist pedagogy ...