Monday, May 09, 2011

lifelong kindergarten

1. Belonging naturally; essential.
2. (of a muscle) Contained wholly within the organ on which it acts.

1. Not part of the essential nature of someone or something; coming or operating from outside.
2. (of a muscle, such as any of the eye muscles) Having its origin some distance from the part that it moves.

1. acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation; general erudition: knowledge of many things.
2. familiarity or conversance, as with a particular subject or branch of learning: A knowledge of accounting was necessary for the job.
3. acquaintance or familiarity gained by sight, experience, or report: a knowledge of human nature.
Knowledge can be either intrinsic, arising from one's own investigation and experience, or extrinsic, fabricated by others. We have a choice in which we pay attention to, and unfortunately we learn in schools to accept the one and repress the other, making us dull in comparison with what we could become. Our schooling teaches us to accept knowledge that comes from outside and to ignore that which arises from personal experience. We place greater value on extrinsic knowledge and suffer the consequences in every facet of human culture.

MIT has a lifelong kindergarten group which is concerned that children no longer get the opportunity to learn through their own creative enterprises.
"In the Lifelong Kindergarten Group, we're trying to change that. We believe that it is critically important for all children, from all backgrounds, to grow up knowing how to design, create, and express themselves. We are inspired by the ways children learn in kindergarten: when they create pictures with finger paint, they learn how colors mix together; when they create castles with wooden blocks, they learn about structures and stability. We want to extend this kindergarten style of learning, so that learners of all ages continue to learn through a process of designing, creating, experimenting, and exploring.

Our ultimate goal is a world full of playfully creative people who are constantly inventing new opportunities for themselves and their communities."
Some of my readers may recall that educational sloyd was first proposed as a means of extending the investigatory values of kindergarten into the upper grade levels. They scratched that. Now kindergartners are being trained to take bubble tests. Froebel is rolling over in his grave.

Make, fix and create.

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