Nov 27, 2012

It takes a community to look after a child

A great initiative, Buddy Day that was run in Hamilton on the 16th of November reminds us all that 'it takes a community to look after a child' - raising awareness and initiating conversations about child abuse and how we might begin to stop it.

Nov 13, 2012

Learning by doing

The quote for this week (seen right) is one from the famous progressive educationalist John Dewey (1859-1952). It goes:

“Before the child goes to school, he learns with his hand, eye and ear, because they are organs of the process of doing something from which meaning results. The boy flying a kite has to keep his eye on the kite, and has to note the various pressures of the string on his hand. His senses are avenues of knowledge not because external facts are somehow ‘conveyed’ to the brain, but because they are used in doing something with a purpose.” ( John Dewey, ‘Democracy and Education’, 1915)

Left: A book by Lauren N. Tanner - 'Dewey's Laboratory School - Lessons for Today'; and right: the Marin Montessori School designed by Pfau Long Architecture.

In 1895, Dewey set up his 'laboratory school' where he tested his ideas on 'learning by doing'. His early learning section (which he named 'sub-primary') was based on activities around family life and that "tapped in" to the child's natural interests. A popular pedagogical theme today that was however rather extraordinary at the time.