Sunday, May 29, 2011

how we understand ourselves

Throughout the ages, man's conception of self has had major impact on how we act, and on the decisions we make. For instance, Freud's notion of the unconscious brought major changes to our perceptions of self. The resulting field of psychology has had profound impact on business, education and culture, and how we think of ourselves.

The drawing of the homunculus above should be telling us something. It illustrates the proportion of the motor and sensory cortex devoted to particular portions of the human anatomy, with the hand occupying a disproportionately large proportion of the brain's activity. This is nothing new to early educators, who based their teaching on the direct observation of the hand's role in the development of character and intellect, and its unique ability to capture the child's attentions and interests in learning. There is not so much to say here that I've not said before. What we learn is best learned by doing. What I've told here is best tested in your own hands.

If we were to better understand and accept the role of the hands in our perceptions of who we are, we would come to the point of dramatic change in the ways we educate our children, and be more successful for it. Want me to spell it out more clearly? Restore the arts, music, dance and wood shop and integrate them with core subject areas. Each is a way to bring the hands into the classroom, and engage the heart of every learner.

Make, fix and create.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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Best regards
Henry