|Forms of beauty made with Froebel blocks|
"...found a significant disparity when comparing the vocabulary exposure of six families on welfare to 13 “professional class” families: children in the former group heard 616 words per hour, while children in the latter heard 2,153 words per hour. Extrapolating those results to 14-hour days, they estimated that underprivileged children were hearing about 30 million fewer words through the age of 3 than their upper-income counterparts."All the fancy new computers and tablets can't give the child what he truly needs for his growth. Researchers and some educators are involved in getting parents to read more to their kids and to purposefully engage in give and take dialog with their children. And of course dialog is not one sided talking to your child, but involves listening to your child and developing the equal exchange upon which educational success will be built. Learning is not just about what's put in the mind, but is also about what comes from it. Between sensing and expressing cognitive processing takes place. In the photo above, you can imagine the child in the Froebel Museum having just asked, "Was ist das Papa?" And Papa replies, "Das ist Schönheit, mein Sohn."
Children must be given an opportunity to find their own place within a perceived unity of all things. James Laughlin Hughes wrote of this in Froebel's Educational Laws for All Teachers, 1887:
He understood the fundamental law of mind development by apperception as thoroughly as Herbart, and made his whole system contribute to the awakening of the inner power and experience of the child which is most directly related to the new experience or to the fresh presentation of knowledge. He saw the unity between knowing, feeling, and willing, between analysis and synthesis, between thought and life. He saw the unity or inner connection of all created things so clearly that he made the reconciliation of opposites an important element of his system. He believed this law of unity, inner connection, or vital interrelationship to be universal, and made it the fundamental law and the ultimate aim of all true educational effort.Perhaps Froebel was too mystical for the present age of skepticism and conformity. It is unlikely that administrators in public education can understand such things. They are far too busy with standardized testing and the core curriculum and turning teachers into check-out clerks for the dispensation and distribution of knowledge. On the other hand, Froebel had seen mothers as the first stars of learning. When renewal comes in American education, it will be from the bottom up, not the top down. Mothers and dads (and grandparents) will lead the way by making, fixing, and creating with their kids and talking with them about it. Talking about real things is better than made up stuff, and kids do know the difference.
Self-Activity. — As unity is Froebel's fundamental law, so self-activity is his essential educational process. His recognition and wonderful application of self-activity is the most comprehensive and the most distinctive element in his educational system. It is the most productive educational principle that has yet been discovered. It involves the doctrines of interest and apperception not merely as educational theories, but as applied educational principles called into play naturally and forcefully as essential steps in guiding and determining the activities of the child. It makes the child the center upon which all true correlation is focused. It is the only process by which the co-ordination of the child's brain can be made complete. It makes the child an executive as well as a receptive and reflective being, and thereby overcomes the most universal human weakness of failing to live and act up to the limit of individual knowing and thinking. It revealed the child to its teacher and to itself by making the inner become the outer life. It defines the feeling and thought of the child and makes it original and progressive. It is the truest basis of self-faith and independence of character, without which the strongest and most cultured intellect is not adequately efficient as a productive or an uplifting force. It makes the child not only responsively, but also suggestively co-operative with its teachers and parents, so that it becomes a co-worker, not a follower, and a creative instead of an imitative agent.
|Making a gerbil house|
Make, fix and create...