Thursday, August 18, 2011


Community and child. This morning, (and all through the night) I had been thinking about school and community, and sometimes things are so much clearer in my lucid dreams than when I finally get to the keyboard and attempt to convey into words those notions that are swirling around my conscious mind. These are the parts from which I am attempting to develop a conceptual framework: Imagine a piece of paper, folded into a tight, tight wad. Or better yet, imagine a butterfly's wings tightly folded and furled. Still further, imagine a cartographer's maps, layered layer upon layer of thin parchment or vellum, each layer describing various components of geophysical, biological and cultural realities. Each layer as it is put in place or removed reveals greater depth. From these images, one can imagine a child unfolding toward full expression and competence as a human being within his or her community.

I am making an assumption. Each child is unique, with a set of gifts that interlock within the layers of community. The child's unique, creative and expressive nature is not a product of withdrawal from community, but is revealed through a purposeful engagement within it.

John Dewey wrote about the student, the school and society as seemingly separate things that must not be detached from one another, but rather deliberately and purposefully connected and entwined. Froebel approached this same notion though his concept gliedganzes or "member-whole".

As teachers, we are challenged to participate in a deliberate carefully conscious unfolding of wings in which the child's own creative powers are revealed as an expression of community. And so the challenge within schooling is to break down the walls isolating the children within classrooms to engage them purposefully and systematically within an ever expanding community.

Make, fix and create...

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:49 AM

    Well phrased!