Wednesday, February 17, 2021

the senses are key

We can call this reality based learning. When we do real things, all the various senses are engaged. Sight, hearing, olfactory and touch. You may find it interesting that Howard Gardner described various learning styles, with the suggestion that a good teacher would plan to touch upon each, thus insuring the interest of every child. There is a fifth sense, that of narrative. Narrative is comprised of the explanations offered us by others, "when things make sense" and that may or may not be felt as true or that we compose ourselves when we reconcile our senses and sensory experiences with the world that surrounds us. When we do things that are real, nothing needs be thus contrived. Comenius had put forth his argument that the senses form the core of learning:
"The ground of this business is, that sensual (sensuous) objects be rightly presented to the senses for fear that they not be received. I say, and say it again aloud, that this is the foundation of all the rest; because we can neither act nor speak wisely, unless we first rightly understand all the things which are to be done and whereof we have to speak. Now there is nothing in the understanding which was not before in the senses. And therefore to exercise the senses well about the right perceiving of the differences of things will be to lay the grounds for wisdom and all wise discourse, and all discreet actions in one's course of life, which, because it is commonly neglected in schools, and the things that are to be learned are offered to scholars without their being understood or being rightly presented to the senses, it cometh to pass that the work of teaching and learning goeth heavily onward and offereth little benefit."
Comenius was considered the father of modern education. So here we are in a huge mess of things. Due to the pandemic, kids are kept home and sequestered from normal school life. Naturally we are all looking forward to a return to what had been our previous normal, which I described in an earlier blog post.

I wish you all warmth, water with no leaky pipes, power that comes on at the switch, contact with loved ones and friends, and a return to normal, with normal meaning those days before the pandemic was allowed to wreak havoc on our communities, our way of life, and our comfort and safety in gathering together. 

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

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