Friday, November 21, 2014

5, 5b and 6

I have been working on gifts 5, 5b and 6 and the chapter that includes these gifts. This photo shows the set of blocks that Froebel designed as set number 5. This was the set of blocks used by older children to understand the Pythagorean theorem.

How many children were able to understand the Pythagorean theorem through the use of these blocks, I don't know. But facility for math is not only the use and understanding of numbers. It involves "spatial sense," such as one might develop through manipulation of blocks. Choosing points along a number line is an important skill, as is judging relative proportions and scale.

Even G. Stanley Hall, recognized that learning through the hands touched the unconscious mind in ways that conscious recitation based learning could not. I repeat a quote from my blog post of two days ago:
Where work that the boy has made himself with his own hands goes, there his interest follows. His reading is stimulated; the inner eye back of the retina is opened, and that priceless though semi-conscious education, which is by hints and suggestions and which is far more rapid and indelible than anything in the memorized and examinable region of the soul, goes on by leaps and bounds. Thus skill with the fingers is harnessed to development of the cerebral neurons, as it should be, and we are working in the depths and not the shallows of the soul. - G. Stanley Hall.
Make, fix and create...

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