Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Nothing Big Or Special

Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of imagination. ~John Dewey 

If I were in charge of things, every classroom would have a spinny barrel thingy. I've found
them to be important tools for scientific discovery, every bit as important in a preschool
classroom as a bunsen burner is in a lab.

Scientific principles and laws do not lie on the surface of nature. They are hidden, and must be wrested from nature by an active and elaborate technique of inquiry. ~John Dewey

If this apparatus is new to you, it's a big barrel that sits in a frame and revolves on an axle. 
Normally, we wrap it in art paper and spin it while holding markers against it, but sometimes
 we'll use it to coil and uncoil ribbon. Last week we dressed it up in bubble wrap. We started
 with paints, brushes and the idea that we would make good old bubble prints on paper,
 but come on, everyone knows this is turning into finger painting, right?

Were all instructors to realize that the quality of mental process, not the production of correct answers, is the measure of educative growth something hardly less than a revolution in teaching would be worked. ~John Dewey

In every class, there are some who can't wait to get up to their elbows in the stuff, "our
sensory kid" their parents might call them, or "my little scientist," and that might not
be what they are, but it's sure what they're doing.

There is no such thing as educational value in the abstract. The notion that some subjects and methods and that acquaintance with certain facts and truths possess educational value in and of themselves is the reason why traditional education reduced the material of education so largely to a diet of predigested materials.  ~John Dewey

Throughout the morning there were never more than 2 or 3 kids over there, messing
around, popping those paint covered bubbles, but when it was time to clean up, we
got a crowd. What fun it was to slush the bubble wrap around in water, trying to
figure out how to pop the bubbles in a way that caused water to spray into our faces.

We always live at the time we live and not at some other time, and only by extracting at each present time the full meaning of each present experience are we prepared for doing the same thing in the future.  ~John Dewey

Nothing big or special happened. It was just fun, so I thought I'd share.

The educational process has no end beyond itself; it is its own end.  ~John Dewey

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Jeanne Zuech said...

Super love that barrel, Tom! And the bubble wrap, the mud and the paint...! Looks big and special to me!

Anonymous said...

Best. Invention. Ever.