A reader introduced me to Nicolaj Grundtvig, proponent of the Danish Folk High School in the 1800's. Grundtvig was a Lutheran pastor and advocate of Danish nationalism who wrote in response to religion, education and world-view which undermined the value of Danish culture. What good was education in Latin and Greek if it undermined support for the local indigenous character of man? In any case, Grundtvig inspired similar Folk High Schools in other nations including some as far away as China.
These days as then, the heroic life of the local seems to be under the onslaught of international homogeneity. Here in Arkansas teachers are having to be trained in the implementation of core curriculum, to make certain that all kids across the state and nation are on the same page, when perhaps Folk High Schools, that put children in touch with their communities and internal, local heroic opportunities would offer greater meaning.
I ran across this blog that investigates the Architecture of Early Childhood and was offered this quote:
“Before the child goes to school, he learns with his hand, eye and ear, because they are organs of the process of doing something from which meaning results. The boy flying a kite has to keep his eye on the kite, and has to note the various pressures of the string on his hand. His senses are avenues of knowledge not because external facts are somehow ‘conveyed’ to the brain, but because they are used in doing something with a purpose.”
--John Dewey, ‘Democracy and Education’, 1915Are we to surrender education for meaning for the emptiness of the internet? Surrender the natural heroic inclinations for the virtual, but virtuously unreal?
A friend Jackie Wolven is responsible for the graphic shown above. She's making a similar graphic for each of the 50 states, and these can be found here for your useful pleasure. On this day before Black Friday, you may be off from work, have some duties in the kitchen, and may also have time to plan what you will make for this holiday season. Avoid the use of power tools on a full stomach, but...
Make, fix and create...