Thursday, February 18, 2021

Making things make sense

Yesterday I misspoke when I stated that there are 4 basic senses, as I overlooked what is commonly recognized as number 5, the sense of taste. So, forgive me, there are 5 commonly recognized physical senses, touch, sight, hearing, sense of smell and taste. There are two more just as important that I'll add.

One is the muscular sense that tells us body position, stance and physical relationship to the real world, including the sense of the earth's own gravitational pull. As we lift things or even as we stand up, or even as we sit still this sense is active. I state muscular sense as being on of the physical senses because it's important and none of the other senses actually provide the information we receive from this vital sense. 

The other of the two of the additional senses is the narrative sense,  the seventh sense through which we compare all the other senses and the feedback we receive from them to determine what makes "sense." The narrative sense involves our own internal dialog but also goes far deeper than that, even into the realm of the unconscious mind. This seventh sense, called by some the "sixth sense" and associated with psychic powers is the one that's activated and used when we learn in and from the real world. It is the one that interprets and "makes sense" of the information presented by the other senses upon which it relies.

This is exactly why learning should proceed from the concrete to the abstract, and forevermore dip deeply again and again and again into the real world by doing real things. Without the physical senses providing crucial information to the seventh sense, students are left disengaged, disinterested and potentially disruptive of education affecting themselves and others in the process. 

Fortunately, there's a relatively easy fix. Insist that schools allow the students to do real things.

Make, fix and create. Assist others in learning likewise.

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