Factory Outlet by George Monbiot posted in the Guardian | Expeditionary Learning

Mass conformism through propaganda. George Monbiot’s words continue to pierce me with his insights.

http://www.monbiot.com/2017/02/16/factory-outlet/

Posted in the Guardian 16th of February, 2017

He talks of the educational conformism that drains teacher’s and students of creativity, and speaks of several systems that move away from the old model, that was designed to produce workers in the 19th century industrialist cultures we lived in.

One educational model that stood out to me, the Reggio Emilia approach, is only because I happened to visit there when I hitchhiked from Berlin to southern Germany, destination Rome.

It was just today that I took a picture of this Expeditionary Learning description on the wall of an 8th grade bi-lingual school science class here in Santa fe.

Expeditionary Learning, hands-on learning, all senses on

Expeditionary – hands and all senses on – Learning

Reminding me of a blog I wrote, after discovering the concept on a hitchhiking journey in which two teachers coming from a conference picked me up and informed me about it.

Why kids need to move, touch, experience to learn, Expeditionary Learning

Why kids need to move, touch and experience to learn Expeditionary Learning

Carol the blogger, Italians, Reggio Emilia, Italian Hitchabout

Carol the blogger among Italians in Reggio Emilia on Italian Hitchabout


Carol Keiter, aka nomadbeatz, welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook & music composition

Carol the blogger's contact card while residing here in the southwest for the time being.

Carol the blogger’s contact card while residing here in the southwest for the time being.

Carol Keiter the blogger back in Tucson, Arizona summer '16

Carol Keiter the blogger back in Tucson, Arizona summer ’16

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Body and the Brain | Expeditionary Learning | Montessori ‘Hands-on’ Learning

Back when I was on my way hitchhiking to San Francisco in 2012, I encountered some teachers who had just attended a conference on the subject of Expeditionary Learning. I wrote about it. https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/hitchabout-san-francisco_expeditionary_learning/

Several days ago the subject of Montessori schools and hands-on learning popped up. I had to investigate if these are in fact, two ways of saying the same thing. I have a feeling that they are. Well, ‘jein’ as a German would say, ja und nein (yes and no) together! They are and they aren’t the same. They are two distinct schools of learning, yet, quite parallel and sort of extensions or facets of one another – in that they are each rigorously proponents of hands-on, getting intimately involved in the entire scope of learning about a subject, interdisciplinary and relying on your own curiosity to motivate you to further investigation. Both involve exploring cooperatively as a group and diving into the whole scope, rather than slicing off disparate parts.

Expeditionary Learning?

what is Expeditionary Learning?

The area of study is called embodied learning.

As young children move and explore their worlds, they are learning through touch. Early bimanual training correlates with the robustness of the corpus callosum, a part of the brain that facilitates quick communication between the left and right brain hemispheres.

 

 

Just as body movement and involvement can have a huge impact on learning, so too can the spaces where we learn.

 

Corpus Callosum neural fibers connecting two cerebral hemispheres, brain

Corpus Callosum neural fibers connecting two cerebral hemispheres of the brain

Mind Shift, Kids, Move, Touch, Experience.Learning

Mind Shift – Why Kids Need to Move, Touch and Experience to Learn

 

 

This article featured on KQED news written by Katrina Schwartz March 26th, 2015 “Why Kids Need to Move, Touch and Experience to Learn” describes how Maria Montessori, founder of Montessori Schools, highlighted the connection between minds and bodies in her 1936 book The Secret of Childhood “Movement, or physical activity, is thus an essential factor in intellectual growth, which depends upon the impressions received from outside.

 

 

Through movement we come in contact with external reality, and it is through these contacts that we eventually acquire even abstract ideas.”

Maria Montessori was best known for her philosophy of education that bears her name. It is an educational approach based on the model of human development.

I see that yes, Expeditionary Learning is an extension of what the Montessori school education is for children at a younger age. The Montessori Method are classes which consist of children of different ages together in what resembles more of a real world environment. The younger children (age 3 to 5) focus their ‘work’ on materials that develop cognition through seeing, tasting, smelling and touch through direct experience. Elementary-age children in the upper grades shift away from the concrete (sensory) to focus more on abstract tasks. The materials and curriculum are inter-disciplinary, and children begin to apply their knowledge to the real world. For example, students may study a map of Europe, and not only learn about it in terms of geography, but also incorporate learning about art and history of the continent; a process which allows the topic to be studied from the whole, not merely discrete separate parts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expeditionary_learning_schools (ELS) are models of comprehensive school reform based on the educational ideas of German educator Kurt Hahn, the founder of Outward Bound. There are more than 150 expeditionary learning schools in 30 states and the District of Columbia. They are exemplified by project-based learning expeditions, where students engage in interdisciplinary, in-depth study of compelling topics, in groups and in their community in which the students become involved with real topics, in real communities, involving the various different subjects that otherwise would be isolated and sliced out of the entire picture. The emphasis is on people working together and involvement in the whole picture.

History class, ELS, students, curiosity

History class ELS NY students create projects suggested by their own curiosity

Open World Learning http://open.spps.org/expeditionary_learning informs us that Expeditionary Learning is built on ten design principles that reflect the educational values and beliefs of Outward Bound. These principles also reflect the design’s connection to other related thinking about teaching, learning, and the culture of schools.

1. Primacy of self-discovery – Learning happens best with emotion, challenges and support…students undertake tasks that require perseverance, fitness, craftsmanship, imagination, self-discipline, and significant achievement. A teacher’s primary task is to help students overcome their fears and discover they can do more than they think they can.

2. Having wonderful ideas – Fostering curiosity about the world and giving students something important to think about, experiment and make sense of what they are observing.

3. Responsibility for Learning – Learning is both a personal process of discovery and social activity. It encourages both children and adults to become increasingly responsible for directing their own personal and collective learning.

4. Empathy and Caring – Students’ and teachers’ ideas are respected and where there’s mutual trust. Out of the hierarchy, into having an adult being an advocate and older students mentoring younger ones.

5. Success and Failure – Students need to be successful to build confidence and the capacity to take risks and meet increasingly difficult challenges. Yet students must learn from their failures and learn how to turn obstacles into opportunities.

6. Collaboration and Competition – Students are encouraged to compete against their personal best, not against each other. Individual and group development are encouraged and integrated towards valuing friendship, trust and group action.

7. Diversity and Inclusion – Students investigate and value their different histories and talents as well as those of other communities and cultures. They recognize that diversity and inclusion increase the richness of ideas, creative thinking and problem solving.

8. Natural World – A direct and respectful relationship with the natural world refreshes the human spirit and teaches the important ideas of recurring cycles and cause and effect. Students learn to become stewards of the earth and of future generations.

9. Solitude and Reflection – Students and teachers need time alone to explore their own thoughts, make their own connections and foster their own ideas and thinking, They can then exchange these reflections with others.

10. Service and Compassion – We are crew, not passengers. Students and teachers are strengthened by acts of consequential service to others, and one of an Expeditionary Learning school’s primary functions is to prepare students with the attitudes and skills to learn from and be of service.

Final metamorphosis of the ‘eBook Trailer’ for “Adora & Vitali: A Spin on the Matter of Motion”

In fact, it is continually being revised! Here’s the sneak preview of my eBook, of which the best prospective readers are more than likely the cyber charter – online schools – and home-schooling groups!

“Adora & Vitali: A Spin on the Matter of Motion”

I’d say it has reached its final metamorphosis! Basically, other facets of ‘life’ got in the way !-))

http://spinonmatter.carbonmade.com/projects/4800092#1

Adora & Vitali: A Spin on the Matter of Motion trailer thumbnails

Adora & Vitali: A Spin on the Matter of Motion trailer thumbnails

Thanks to http://carbonmade.com for making it quite simple to build and display, for free!!

hitchabout San Francisco | Expeditionary Learning |

If this appears to be a drastic left turn from plasma cosmology theory, you’re right. However, one of the first rides that I had on my journey was quite familiar with the concept, working at the same laboratories which I’d linked to in my blog on the subject, Los Alamos National Labs. After flying to the Denver airport from Pennsylvania, and promptly starting my hitching journey to Taos, New Mexico from the airport – level 4, I was soon on my way. Though getting out of the airport took some investigating and leaving Denver was not so easy. The first driver described how he had reinforced this nesting place of an owl from the year before in the pine tree next to his house, because 3 of its babies fell out and died. Frank reinforced branches and placed a large deep basket there, explaining that owls find places to nest in things that already have a structure, they don’t build them. He showed me a picture on his phone of the present nest, with several baby owls’ eyes peering over the rim. Adorable! What a worthwhile investment of time and love! The next was a female nurse, Kerri, leaving her shift at the hospital, picking me up in her jeep with the top down, no, for the 1st time this year. It was something ridiculous like 82 degrees in Denver! The following, an IT network engineer who produces switches for different pods in East coast regions. Rob has a family and two young sons into baseball. He was on his way to meet up with a friend and his brother. Was told me the names of the more distinctive mountains that we drove by. Has a commitment to try to climb one mountain, somewhere each year. Described this ‘keyhole’ on Long’s Peak, a big mtn near Denver. Said that years ago he got his sister to go on a climb with him. They had to get to the base by 4am or something, because the rangers would not allow anyone to remain on the peak after noon. He described climbing through the keyhole, which is cylindrical hole cut out of rock on the face of the mountain, about the size of a 21 wheel truck (ha, now i have new analogies in my repertoire). The wind moves so swiftly through this hole in the rock, with a tremendous howl, that it was a powerful experience that they will never forget. And that he was really proud of his sister. He pointed out the Air Force Academy stadium and grounds as we were passing Colorado Springs. I fortunately scored a long ride with this guy! He pointed out the Air Force Academy stadium and grounds as we were passing Colorado Springs (where Pike’s Peak is). I fortunately scored a long ride with this guy! He pointed out NORAD, which the air defense built into the Cheyenne mountain, housing radar. He mentioned that they built it so deeply, as a defense against the Russian’s gaining any knowledge about it. Said that his dad was very intrigued with this and introduced him to it as a child. Funny thing, as I’m sitting here editing this story, i have to once in a while pause writing to clap, because i’m sitting in Caffe Trieste in North Beach which is at the moment ‘leider’ practically empty, yet with a jazz duo who set up and started playing a little while ago, with me tucked kind uv behind the piano player. I feel like I should be singing back up vocals sitting here. Hit’s hysterical, i’m laughing out loud. It’s this free entertainment, swing jazz kinda sound. ha! MTUNE is the name of the song that i recorded, the name of the African percussionist i believe circa 1973 ‘miles electric band’, conga drum player.

After, a young couple picked me up, precisely because they weren’t a ‘couple’. I’ve learned from experience that couples typically do NOT pick people up. Yet, because each were sort of colleagues with their joint interest and each had their significant other within reach of their cell phones, giving me a ride wasn’t going to impinge on their intimate drive home. Tim is a 30 something guy who works at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Amanda is a geologist also 30 something, I’m guessing. She had a lot to contribute, fueled by curiosity and capability in wrapping her head around the concepts. They were returning from an all day conference in Denver, back to the same New Mexico town. Each are on the school board, educating themselves in order to present to the rest of the community this new approach in education. They along with a few others, have the intention of opening a school, specifically modeled after the EL approach. Expeditionary learning integrates different subjects into the same learning scenario context. Adding some dimension to learning outside of the dry regurgitation of facts, expeditionary learning is an organic approach which incorporates different subjects, presented together within the framework of a situation ‘problem to be solved/puzzled calculated’. It involves more of the senses and is more of a localized, rather than abstracted approach, by incorporating different subjects. They both were impressed with the conference they attended national conference about expeditionary learning in Denver, and were driving right through Taos. They left me off at my request, in front of the Taos Inn, my meeting place, since it was en route to their destination. We had an enjoyable time and tremendously rich conversation covering an array of subjects; mostly segues from talks on the subject of EL – the need to bring a person’s local history and community into relevant scenarios to make learning more meaningful – and plenty of conversation about the nature of plasma, electronic systems, subatomic experiments… and a mention of how a lightning bolt (plasma phenomenon) can in one strike, erase all of the geological history that is coded into the layers of rock (from different alignments with the ‘north’ pole over different ages as this magnetically shifts) in one instant. This is a bit of a description from http://elschools.org/our-approach/what-we-do. We all talked pretty animatedly, discussing different subjects, along with descriptions of some experiments the driver does at the labs (without divulging any top-secret information). I’ll add more content to this blog, elaborating on the subjects. Come to think of it, my hitch-abouts are often a kind of ‘expeditionary learning’ experience, since I often come across all sorts of subjects, introduced to me through conversations with drivers’ who know a lot about the subjects they have the most experience or interest in, such as; geography, history, economics, anthropology, business, science… However, before I go into more depth on some of the information I came across and which I want to investigate more, in haste to post some pictures, I’m skipping the travels and information along the way, to the most recent pics taken on the streets of San Francisco, another intended stop off/visiting point.

Shamelessly copied from my FB account below:

I have to point out that the last two truck drivers, now wait, i better not broadcast this, oh well. they were very nice, but clearly revealed symptoms of having ingested way too many methamphetamines during their driving lifetimes. The last guy’s entire body seemed to be inadvertently going into spasms, and the 2nd last one talked so fast, jumping from one subject to another, that I was exhausted just by trying to actively pay attention and maintain his wavelength. I was frankly, by this time over, riding in a truck. ‘-)) one of them pointed out that formerly in the 80’s, 90’s (?) when working in the cattle industry for a trucking companies, the dispatcher would tell 7 trucks to go to such and such a cattle farm to pick up a load, and wouldn’t let each of them know that 6 other trucks were also vying for the same load. that would push them (through this inhumane work environment) to compete on a (1st come 1st serve) basis, to get the job. Then if they’d arrive and it was gone, they’d have to bail to reach the next possibility. he blatantly said that they would have to do drugs to stay awake. Since then, the rules and regulations have changed. Now they are so strictly regulated by having everything electronically recorded from their truck computer. Their boss’s know each time that they turn the truck on, move it, know its position, etc, and they are authorized to drive maximum 14 hrs/day and no more than 70 hrs/wk. They’re fined if they break the rules. It certainly helps them out, but the reforms hurt them in other ways. Oh yeah, one of the truckers referred to the ‘rag heads’, mostly Pakistani (excuse me but these were his words) who acquire grants from the US Govt, to easily obtain a loan, work for a trucking firm for way below the going rate; consequently taking the jobs of other truckers.

I caught a bus after the last truck, to make it to the Howweird Street fair on time to see old friends. It was the bus ride from “de light”! Suddenly I was among several fun people, and we all had fun hanging out! I have never had such an oddly enjoyable bus ride. It was from a county that had to transfer in Los Angeles and was heading to points north.

More to come!

Guess i have to plug some art: http://carolkeiter.artistswanted.org/atts2012