I enjoyed our conversation today and would like to go back to the sessions you mentioned about education. I have a deep interest in education, probably because I felt so thwarted as a child. At least, through it all, I have managed to hang on to my curiosity. And I surround myself with other curious beings (yes, read that polysemically!) so, together, our individual curiosities fuel each other.
When I was in high school I wrote an essay for English class on a “better educational system” and the comment I got from the teacher was “yeah, that would work for you, Lisa, because you are intrinsically motivated, but it wouldn’t work for most of the other kids.” More than anything, that made me sad. Why weren’t they as curious as I was?
My interest continued through college, where finally I had a little more freedom and other students “like me” and teachers who got excited about the things I was curious about. So much so that one helped me get a grant to do a study about student question-asking. I noticed that in some classes, students asked more questions than in others. I wanted to find out why. The results weren’t that surprising, but it did teach me how to do research… Also in college I read Summerhill and about that college in Washington State (Black Mountain College, I think, which was also a working farm). I read about Montessori but somehow I missed Rudolf Steiner. Fortunately, a friend here in California was a Waldorf teacher and has “caught me up” on his philosophy of education.
@MarcoMasi, if you are interested (and anyone else, too), I really love what my friend Lynnclaire developed for schools/teachers. (Lynnclaire presented to the cafe several years ago, but it seemed to be too much squished into the time frame, in my recollection.) Anyhow, I would enjoy sharing her project with you, as it is more about giving children/people an empowered sense of belonging such that they take responsibility for their class, classmates, learning, etc. It frees the teacher to facilitate more and manage the classroom less. I would also like to hear more about the experiment in Europe of “soccer schools” (or that’s how I remember it explained to me by my German/Swiss friend). To capitalize on the desire of kids to learn/play soccer, they developed schools based on that, while slipping in academics with the sports. That model has been used for decades in ballet schools in Russia and Europe.
Lastly, I have a friend here who is very involved in getting Emotional Intelligence taught in schools. She thinks that our factory models really stunt emotional development.
I am still very passionate about this issue, but it is not an area where I have had the opportunity to DO anything. I am very supportive of people who are doing something!