Wednesday, April 08, 2015

fitting oneself to the whole of the social order.

The following is from Dr. Matti Bergström's book, Hjarnans resurser — en bok om ideernas ursprung "The Brain's Resources — a Book about the Origin of Ideas."
...We evolve in order to unite the world we live in into a wholeness. ...This is why the unifying force, the collective principle ... assumes ever greater importance in our lives. It becomes apparent in our thirst for peace, accord, and harmony, goodness, a social and religious paradise, love of our fellow humans and nature and an ensouling of nature. ...Even in our science we wish more and more to be rid of one-sided analysis, divisiveness and disjointed knowledge to create instead a method of research that tends toward synthesis and holism, wholeness and cohesion, where values can coexist without battling each other. We increasingly want the selective forces to serve the collective. — pp. 147-8
Those who have read Froebel's ideas about Gliedglanzes may see a similarity between the thoughts of Kindergarten's inventor the more modern brain researcher who passed away last summer. As with most things in the blog, I've written about this before. generic humanity fulfills and interprets Nature, Nature must be the prophecy and symbol of mind. Therefore, man may find intimations of his own being in the course of the stars and the fall of the stone, in the shining world of crystals and the circular process of organic life. –– Susan Blow, Symbolic Education, 1911
The following is from an essay in the Conservator, July 1909, exploring Walt Whitman's poetry and suggesting that a school must pay attention to both the individuality of the child, and the larger societal structure of which he is part, with an eye toward meaningful integration between the two.
The teacher may well ask in reply, How can I accomplish such ends under present school conditions? How in my crowded classroom recognize the simple separate person? It is not easy perhaps to escape from mechanism in the school system of a large congested city. But if America is finally to realize herself we must work out a plan by which the individuality of child, teacher, and principal will be recognized and respected. If the teachers have a training in normal schools of the right caliber and supplement this by years of practical experience they ought to be able by counsel and suggestion to point the way to improvement in both management and method.
Today I have my home school class making boxes, and tomorrow I leave to teach at Annapolis.

Make, fix and create...

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