Tuesday, February 24, 2015

defending the early years.

As we attempt to overly script and control child development, we narrow their opportunities for discovery. It is time (once again) to talk about the Greek word "heuristic". It's derived from Archimedes exclamation that became the name of my wonderful home town, "Eureka! Springs" Now, let's holler all together, "Heureka!" for it conveys the sense of discovery, and is what education should really be about in the first place. Now when educators talk about "heuristic," you will be able to exclaim, proclaim and explain what the heck they think they are talking about... a means through which to create an opportunity for hands-on direct personal discovery.  You may remember that Archimedes discovered while in the bath that he could measure the volume of his body by measuring the water that flowed from the side of the tub. He ran naked through the streets, so excited was he about his discovery. And yet, discovery is the vital ingredient we've managed to leave out of our plans for education. The following is from the Danish National Library Authority.
The Finnish brain researcher, Matti Bergström concentrates on the child’s inner life and its – as we see it – chaotic ’possibility space’. Professor Bergström maintains that it is not only a question of ’white games’. The white games are our pedagogical efforts trying to bring up children in our own image. But there must also be room for the ’black games’ where children test themselves and the world around them.They must be given space. At a recent conference, Matti Bergström posed the question: do children need a knowledge lift? His answer was no, they need a chaos lift. We must allow children space and opportunity for the black games which are created in the unorganised and unsupervised meeting with other children.

Very briefly, Matti Bergström’s reasoning can be boiled down to this: The core of culture is art. The core of art is creativity. The core of creativity is possibility. The core of possibility is play. The core of play is chaos. Therefore all culture is based on chaos. More than ever before do we wish to encourage each individual’s creativity and culture-creating ability. The skills of the agrarian and industrial society have long since become obsolete.
This afternoon, I plan to drive to Little Rock so I can be present at a hearing before the Arkansas Court of Appeals. A power line case related to our own SWEPCO debacle has been granted a hearing, and I'll be going to observe and learn.  Had SWEPCO not decided to abandon their unfortunate proposal, we would be attempting to take our own case before the court.

Make, fix and create...

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