Monday, October 20, 2014

Gift number 4

A gift number 4 beauty form
Froebel's gift number four consisted of a small sliding top box and 8 small tiles, each 1/2 in. x 1 in. x 2 in. The tiles were used to create "knowledge," a sense of relationship, and a sense of beauty.
  • Knowledge in this case had to do with number and form, how one shape could be used to build another geometric shape, in that the tiles could be used to construct the cube proportionate in shape to the box from which they came. In addition, the tiles of this gift could be compared in siza and shape to the cubes in gift number 3. Did you know that they are the same size?
  • The sense of relationship came from building the various forms that they child witnessed in his or her environment. 
  • Sense of beauty came from the arrangement of the tiles into patterns expressing harmony and symmetry. For example, one of hundreds of possible patterns of beauty is shown in the photo above.
The small wooden box was an essential component of gift number 4. As the gifts became more complex to meet the growing complexity of the child's inner landscape, a means of keeping order was necessary. But the box also played an important relationship to the whole. A cube, within a cube, but within that cube was infinite potentiality. The arrangement of the gifts and their delivery was based on the following precepts that will sound familiar to those readers who have taken an interest in educational sloyd. Start with the interests of the child. Move from the known to the unknown, from the easy to the more difficult, from the simple to the complex, and from the concrete to the abstract. Within this simple prescription as outlined by Otto Salomon is the basis of "progressive" education.

This morning I received an email from an educational website proclaiming"every child reading." I proclaim an equivalent imperative, that every child make, and that we make that possible. Don't think for a minute that schools will go ahead and do it without you.

Make, fix and please join in the creation of the universe...

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