Thursday, February 23, 2012

An Experiment: Thinking about School Environment

from here.

In 1915, John Dewey wrote the following about 'old education':

from here.
Some few years ago I was looking about the school supply stores in the city, trying to find desks and chairs which seemed suitable from all points of view--artistic, hygienic, and educational--to the needs of the children. We had a great deal of difficulty in finding what we needed,and finally one dealer, more intelligent than the rest, made this remark: 'I am afraid we have not what you want. You want something at which children work; these are all for listening'... It's all made 'for listening'--because simply studying lessons out of a book is another kind of listening;it marks the dependency of one mind upon another...If everything is on a 'listening' basis, you can have uniformity of material and method. The ear, and the book which reflects the ear, constitute the medium which is alike for all  (pp. 21-23).

So a challenge: Take a look at the classroom, school, or district where you work.  Is it designed for listening? For working?

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