Friday, September 18, 2020

Cultural recapitulation

There was a proposal at one time shared widely in education, that children should be encouraged to grow through all the earlier stages of human development as a means of fully grasping technology, and as a means of understanding human culture and each other. 

The idea called "cultural recapitulation" was that the development of the individual would best parallel the development of human culture. With that proposal having been ignored in most schooling for the last century you can look around and discover for yourself that many folks are "out of touch." We relate to the smooth flat surfaces of our phones and devices, without going deeper into a full relationship with life.

And we think of technology as being high tech, and not the simple stuff that enabled the survival of man and the rise of civilization.

Primitive Technology is a wonderful youtube channel of interest to both children and adults that allows viewers to watch as things are made using very basic tools closely approximating how they were made by early man.

And so how does this fit into education today? In Educational Sloyd teachers were to start with the interests of the child, then learning would progress 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, just as we all learn best in real life. Although Primitive Technology is online, it provides a basis for children to re-examine our world and how our human culture evolved.

From the wide array of offerings on the Primitive Technology channel, one could ask students to choose the most commonplace of things. How about string? How can I make it and from what? Then launch into the process of discovery. Unlike most schooling it will provide an adventure.

Make, fix and create...

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