Friday, November 23, 2018

experience and observation

When children do real things in school, they are invited to observe. Observation is the foundation of science. When they are invited to question and form hypotheses, they are thereby invited to think.

Education has always had two conflicting missions. One was to establish societal order and control. The other was to raise the level of intellectual engagement in society at large and for individual students, that they might rise to highest capacity. A body of students intellectually engaged, and encouraged to question the established order may not be what some schools really want.  There are too many risks involved.

Finnish brain researcher Matti Bergström suggested that children are presented two games. One is the white game in which they are expected to do what parents and teachers want. The other is the black game in which children do what they want and learn from it and the consequences. Bergström insists upon the importance of the black game, asserting that human culture must arise anew within each generation. That black game is most apparent when children play.

At North Arkansas Regional Airport on Wednesday I noticed (observed) that almost without a single exception, cars were parked within the lines. Where lines are provided people apparently choose order  over chaos and work with others in a cooperative manner that provides ease and certainty to all even without the heavy hand of the state.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving day with family and friends. The food was incredible, and I salute those who dedicated their hand skills and intelligence to prepare it.

Make, fix and create...

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