Gears, caves, Tesla, saxophones
Next week I’ll be attending ASU+GSV in San Diego. If you’ll be there, I’d love to meet up, so please reach out!
What we’re reading:
A Builder’s Approach to Relationships (essay): Gena Gorlin argues that win-lose relationships are illusory: that human relationships are either win-win or lose-lose. This is among the critical fundamental social perspectives to impart in education: that both martyrdom and domination inflict tremendous characterological damage on everyone involved, and that there is always a non-zero-sum approach to loving human beings.
Kids Have No Place in a Liberal Democracy (book review): A few weeks ago Elizabeth Bruenig reviewed Rita Koganzon’s Liberal States, Authoritarian Families.
“And so it is that children actually spend a great deal of time with the state, and in a particularly contentious context. Because the purpose of public school is, in some sense, to make Americans out of children, public-school curricula and resources—whether overall learning objectives, specific lesson plans, or the books stocked on school-library shelves—cannot be agnostic as to what it means to be an American, and not just an American but a good American: a worthy, reliable member of our liberal-democratic society.”
Our newsletter last week on the non-value-neutrality of education is also relevant, as are my musings about the role of public education in amplifying these problems.
The Gears of My Childhood (book forward): If you haven’t read this classic from Papert then you’re missing out. “The understanding of learning must be genetic. It must refer to the genesis of knowledge. What an individual can learn, and how he learns it, depends on what models he has available. This raises, recursively, the question of how he learned these models.”
Plato’s Allegory of the Cave (Montessorium essay): Jason Rheins takes a deep dive into Plato’s famous allegory for its relevance to education.
“Plato’s allegory emphasizes a profound challenge with respect to education and enlightenment. There are real ‘epistemic sinkholes’; some the results of mere ignorance and others deliberate misinformation, in which not only is the truth unknown but apt to be resisted as unreal and contrary to familiar misconceptions.”
The foregoing link is to part 1; here’s part 2.
Historical oddity: Did you know that Nikola Tesla proposed encasing classrooms in electrical currents in order to stimulate the brain activities (and physical growth) of students? This is real.
A Sesame Street classic is making the rounds on Twitter. Watch it with your kids::
(Note: the video’s volume is pretty high, so please take care.)