Wednesday, June 05, 2019

localizing education...

The importance of using local resources in education is made clear in a story about Pestalozzi.
Back in the late 1700’s a child in Pestalozzi’s school challenged his teacher, “You want me to learn the word ladder, but you show me a picture. Wouldn’t it be better to go look at the real ladder in the shed?” The teacher was frustrated by the child’s interruption and explained that he would rather not take the whole class outside the building just to look at a ladder. Later, the same child was shown the picture of a window and again interrupted the teacher. “Wouldn’t it be better to talk about the real window that is right there? We don’t even have to go outside to look at it!” The teacher asked Pestalozzi about the incident and was informed that the child was right. Whenever possible children should learn from the real world and the greater depth of experiences it offers.
Utilizing local resources allows learning to move from the concrete to the abstract, to maintain relevance to the child's life, to go deep enough to incite passion. It creates opportunities for service to family and community. It also offers real opportunities for engagement of the hands.

Yesterday in a staff meeting we began planning for the coming school year. To invite collaboration between grade levels, we chose a theme for the coming year from among the four Greek elements. We'll have an earth year that invites the exploration of our Karst terrain, soils, planting, geology, earth sciences, magnetism, how the lands shape human culture and much more and at varying levels of rigor and depth at various grade levels. It also creates opportunities for children to share what they've learned with other classes in the school.

Make, fix, create, and assist others in learning likewise

No comments:

Post a Comment