Sunday, June 23, 2019

thinking outside the educational box.

1. For some, the idea of education is that of controlling kids to keep them out of trouble during the school day.

2. For some the idea of education is to pass children through a process providing measurable results.

For most the purpose of education is to perform a balance of one and two. Where that balance lies will be variable depending on who's watching and who's measuring.

All may have some idealized goal for child development tempered to some degree by what they understand to be reality. For instance, those associated with the Lutheran church in the 1850's in Germany would have wanted to raise and educate children to be "obedient to the word of God." And subservient to that, to be obedient to the state and to the laws of the state.

Friedrich Froebel saw natural forces present in his universe that could be witnessed, known, and understood, and of which he and every child was a part. He no doubt arrived at his perceptions through his observations.

As a very small child he was emotionally abandoned by an inattentive step mother and had to look elsewhere for support. He witnessed mothers' love as a thing absent from his own life. As a forester's apprentice he was awakened to the fascinating beauty and harmony of nature and of which man was a part. As a mineralogist he learned that the patterns of nature were based on an internal order inherent in each thing. As an educator he looked for those patterns of development and internal order to be present in each child. He thus proposed that the point of learning was not to force something in, but to provide the tools that would bring something out. And what was to be brought out was for the child to grasp his or her place in a harmonious universe.

To follow Froebel we must begin to propose deeper purpose, and to accept the fact that we are each connected in profound ways to nature, to community and to each other.

Make, fix and create...

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