"Logo is the name for a philosophy of education and a continually evolving family of programming languages that aid in its realization."  
    — Harold Abelson Apple Logo, 1982

This statement sums up two fundamental aspects of Logo. It is a programming language. Each programming language is designed with a particular focus in mind, such as scientific modelling, creating animation, or financial calculations. Logo is a language for learning – about computer programming, but also about other domains – mathematics, language, art, music…

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The Logo programming environments that have been developed over the past 48 years are rooted in constructivist educational philosophy, and are designed to support constructive learning. Constructivism views knowledge as being created by learners in their own minds through interaction with other people and the world around them. This theory is most closely associated with Jean Piaget, the Swiss psychologist, who spent decades studying and documenting the learning processes of young children. The connection between Constructivism and Logo is largely through Seymour Papert, who worked with Piaget.

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After many years at Piaget's Institute   in Geneva, Papert moved to the United States to become a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was part of the team that developed the first version of Logo in 1967, and then was a leader in the development of Logo in the decades to follow.

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A key component of most versions of Logo is Turtle Geometry, which was designed to be a pathway into mathematics that was accessible even to young children. For most people, their introduction to Logo was by programming the turtle.

Find out more about Turtle Geometry with our Logo Primer

Actually, the first version of Logo had no turtle. The focus of early Logo activities was in the realm of natural language. The name Logo – Greek for "word" - was chosen to emphasize its ability to work with words and sentences.

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