Monday, December 21, 2009

Vives and Comenius

Based in part on the observations of scholar Juan Luis Vives (1493-1540), John Amos Comenius proposed a system of education founded on the arts:
"Theory," says Vives, "is easy and short, but has no result other than the gratification that it affords. Practice on the other hand, is difficult and prolix, but is of immense utility." Since this is so, we should diligently seek out a method by which the young may be easily led to the practical application of natural forces, which is to be found in the arts. -- John Amos Comenius (1592-1670)
Comenius is widely considered the "father" of modern pedagogy, and how soon we forget.

This morning I delivered the toys we had made at Clear Spring School to our local food bank. There was already a line at the door, so I hope the economy improves soon and puts people back to work. The toys provided by the students may help to alleviate some of the strain, giving children something to do while their parents shop for food.

On the subject of work, Comenius said, "We give form to ourselves and to our materials at the same time." The worst part of unemployment can be the loss of sense of self... the effects on the psyche. Jun Luis Vives is considered the first scholar to analyze the psyche directly and for that is viewed by some as the "godfather of Psychoanalysis," ahead of Freud by 400 years.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

HELLO MR. STOWE,

I FIND AN INCREASING MINDFULNES IN YOUR BLOG. I BELIEVE THERE IS NO OTHER SOLUTION LEFT FOR THE EDUCATION SYSTEM IN THIS COUNTRY BUT TO AT LEAST LOOK AT WHAT YOU ARE SAYING.

I THINK THAT ANYTHING DONE WITH THE HANDS AND THOUGHT OUT BEFORE HAND IS ART OR CRAFT. WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL IN AUTO SHOP THERE WERE SOME KIDS WHO GOT STRAIGHT A'S IN THE CLASS BUT COULD NOT GET THAT THINKING TO THIER HANDS. THERE WERE OTHERS, LIKE ME, WHO GOT B'S AND C'S BUT COULD EASILY GET MY HANDS TO DO THE WORK.

IF THE EDUCATORS AND THE POLICY MAKERS IN THIS COUNTRY DON'T TAKE A HARD LOOK AT THE FACTS YOU ARE PRESENTING IN THIS FORUM, THIS COUNTRY WILL NEVER RECOVER.

TVI

Doug Stowe said...

I, too, hope we come back to our senses.

montessorimatters said...

"The worst part of unemployment can be the loss of sense of self..."

I am in complete agreement, and I feel it is very important to teach our children that "if you are what you do, when you don't, you aren't."

We, as a society, need to learn to define ourselves differently, not by our jobs, but by our relationships with others and our efforts to improve the world around us. A curriculum based on creativity lets children know that they are free to define who they are by how they create their lives, and could potentially free them from being defined by their source of income.

Doug Stowe said...

To act creatively is to be aligned with the "creator". If we want our children to arise to their highest potential, we foster their creativity and help them toward that identity as someone who is empowered to create (cook, make, sew, plant, nurture, sing, play, make music, make noise) toward the benefit of others.