One thought led to another and then another,
Wanting them here as I continue on my journey,
To come back to.
Years ago, one of my favorite books, Teaching with your Mouth Shut, by Finkel,
Not forgotten, influential--
Finkel 's overarching theme in his text Teaching with your Mouth Shut stems from John Dewey's belief that "no thought, no idea, can possibly be conveyed as an idea from one person to another". Finkel explores, through both theory and praxis, possible methods for moving from the realm of "telling" students to "teaching" students. Early in his text, Finkel defines good teaching as "creating... those circumstances that lead to significant learning in others" --sourceRecently, at Education Innovation a post, Teaching in the White Spaces--
"Leaving out the right ideas, concepts, information in our lessons engages the student’s imagination."And he quoted this from Lao Tzu:
"Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu wroteAnd then today, from The Freire Project Blogs--
“Thirty spokes share the wheel’s hub,
It is the center hole that makes it useful.
Shape clay into a vessel,
It is the space within that makes it useful.
Cut doors and windows for a room,
It is the holes which make it useful.
Therefore profit comes from what is there,
Usefulness from what is not there."
An Indian fable --
That spoke to me--
A wish Cocoon
Along a dusty road in India there sat a beggar who sold cocoons. A young boy watched him day after day, and the beggar finally beckoned to him.
"Do you know what beauty lies within this chrysalis? I will give you one so you might see for yourself. But you must be careful not to handle the cocoon until the butterfly comes out."
The boy was enchanted with the gift and hurried home to await the butterfly. He laid the cocoon on the floor and became aware of a curious thing. The butterfly was beating its fragile wings against the hard wall of the chrysalis until it appeared it would surely perish, before it could break the unyielding prison. Wanting only to help, the boy swiftly pried the cocoon open.
Out flopped a wet, brown, ugly thing which quickly died. When the beggar discovered what had happened, he explained to the boy "In order for the butterfly wings to grow strong enough to support him, it is necessary that he beat them against the walls of his cocoon. Only by this struggle can his wings become beautiful and durable. When you denied him that struggle, you took away from him his only chance of survival."
Don't we need to spend more time listening? providing time for learning? designing opportunities for our students to struggle, and to grow and to become? I think so!