Thursday, April 14, 2016

My undergraduates read about Waldorf Schools and Tagore's philosophy of the arts, so I took a few minutes yesterday and let them go outside (Spring! Spring! Spring!) to write. They began with a walk and talk, then wrote for a while, returned with a  walk and talk, then shared.

Rabindranath Tagore,
argued for a creative style of teaching and learning and would encompass the education of the whole child, advocating (1) the need for joyous learning and the experience of mental and physical freedom, (2) a linguistic medium connected to a child’s social and cultural environment, (3) accessible well-educated teachers who inspire, (4) a multilevel curriculum to stimulate critical thought and creative imagination, and (5) learning the holistic world of nature for empathy. (Hansen, 2013, p. 130)
As a result, we went outside and part of yesterday's college class was to think about the world as, I believe, Tagore would encourage it. Similar, “Waldorf educators emphasize an artistic approach that engages students in mind and body. Teaching though stories and storytelling, for example, is a pedagogical device worthy of emulation” (Hansen, 2013, p. 156).

There's always a tremendous joy when one breaks away from the boundaries of traditional classroom walls. I learned this in Kentucky, I learned this in New York, and I am sharing it in Connecticut. Knowledge transcends the superficiality of what we've created as schools. If I can plant anything in my students, it is that they should always push against the walls that are enforced upon them in the name of tradition, bureaucracy, and assessment. 

Funny to have students write 22 poems on the spot in the name of philosophy of education (but that is what we read...I felt at home)

Learning is such a complicated endeavor.

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