Thursday, October 25, 2012

captured by a noble notion...

One of the too often unmentioned purposes of modern education is that of connecting with, substantiating, and activating the nobility as well as the intelligence and character of each child. Each child has the potential of exercising nobility. Many children arrive on the planet with a sense of justice, a sense of moral outrage when they are witnesses to injustice, and  in schooling we need to develop means through which that sense of justice and injustice can be refined, and brought in service to our culture and our nation. All children have some sense of longing to be good at things that they can understand and that allow them to distinguish themselves in some way from others and from the commonplace.

John Rouse and students at BFBB
There are a number of ways to activate a child's sense of nobility. David Henry Feldman who had made a study of the gifted and talented wrote of the child as craftsman. Boston Family Boat Building as shown in the photo at left links a sense of history to the child's inclination to explore and develop real skill.

At the Clear Spring School, my high school students are making cigar box guitars. Some are being led step by step through a process that they just don't quite understand. Others are enthusiastically engaged, and can hardly wait to hold their finished guitars in hand. I am having to be somewhat dictatorial through the process in order to make certain we arrive at useful completed objects. The object of a noble notion is never complete. Instead, it is like a doorway open to the future in which things are changed and made better. Some grand notions are wasted and may seem to lead to naught. Some are practice for greater things.

A noble notion is a thing that grabs you and connects you with things larger than yourself and the drawing forth of noble notions from each child is one of the most crucial elements of civilization and too often forgotten in American education.

The video above illustrates another use of noble notion. Can children be drawn from themselves and become impowered to act as the driving force of human cultural renewal, even under the nearly worst of circumstances? You can bet on it.

Make, fix and create..

No comments:

Post a Comment