Listening to the radio yesterday I heard that it is impossible to grow an apple from seed. Apples today are so complex that the seed will not reproduce the apple it came from. Fascinating! I wanted to know more. It started my mind racing into all sorts of different areas – genetics, grafting, economics, climate, the science of taste, etc. It reminded me of my love of the game “100 questions” where you start with an object (like an apple seed) and then ask 100 questions based on the object. Think of all you could learn from just one simple seed. In fact, that reminds me of Blake’s poem about the world in a grain of sand . . .
Of course, I don’t seem to have any thoughts that don’t return me to a fascination with learning and a desire to do anything I can to make learning the central focus for everyone, in school or not.
We have to push on in the commitment to finding ways that we can help children in school be learners, not just “scholars” (people gifted in responding to “schooling”). Imagine what we could do to help learners organize their learning around the questions that they come up with!
The exciting/frustrating thing is that we CAN do that today.
We have the knowledge and the technology to help them learn how to organize learning in new and exciting ways that are important to them and at the same time, do it in a way that does not lessen our responsibilities as adults to mentor that learning process.
We must continue to press for ways to blur the lines between formal and informal learning – and take responsibility for the fact that we ever let such a wall be created and then maintained.
“Mrs/Mr. Teacher, Tear down this wall!”