I have had some time off writing for a while but am interested in trying to come back with a different approach. I am going to try and write something every day for a month and see what happens. I have had a psychological block and I think the only way to get out of it is by forcing my way back into the game! Here is my first post.
Day one. (I am going to write in the morning as that is when my brain works best. So, it is probable that I will reflect on my experiences of the previous day.)
The best place to start is with a message that I took from a book by the Japanese farmer and philosopher, Masanobu Fukuoka, “We know nothing”. Despite all of the science and technology that exists in the world and how far we have supposedly developed as a species, we are causing more harm to the planet than ever before. So, the best place to start is from the point of view that the more we learn, the less we know. I believe that that is the only place to start because we are doing the same thing with our education systems and our children that we are doing with our planet.
I understand that it is a negative place to start, but I don’t believe in the social network trap that we seem to be stuck in. If we only show amazing photos and speak of the amazing things in our lives then we are not presenting our true lives! We are humans that feel joy and pain. To talk about the good, we also have to talk about the bad, the yin and yan, the dark and light. From my perspective, we are in the middle of a very difficult time in history. We all need to speak from the heart and present our true selves, not our social network selves!
So, going on the view that we know nothing, where do we start? How can we teach children if we don’t know anything? The education system that exists all over the world is based on the fact that we know more than the children do, and we have to teach them! I believe that that is why we are failing our children. That is why mental health issues and suicide rates are at ridiculous levels all over the world. Children do not feel respected and empowered if we place them in a position below us, to learn from us. If we place them is seats in front of a black/whiteboard to learn from us, there is a power imbalance.
If we know nothing, then that means that we are at the same level as the kids. That means that we have to engage in a learning journey together with them. That means that the kids feel respected and trusted to make good decisions for themselves. That means that if we can create a comfortable learning environment, children will have the opportunity to be the creators of their own experience and learning. That doesn’t mean that we give them total control! It means that we can create a safe learning context and place learning opportunities in front of the kids for them to engage in their own empowerment.
Healthy limits!!! Sometimes, us humans don’t know where the healthy limit is. Sometimes we don’t know whether or not we are having a negative impact on another person. Together, adults and children can create a space that has healthy limits. A space where the overall experience of everybody within it is a positive one. One where a little suffering is necessary as part of the learning process of life. ‘Healthy limits’ does not mean: bubble wrapping the kids, nor allowing unnecessary harm to occur. Common sense (these days, not so common) means that we can make safe environments together with the kids.
So that is where I will start. I know nothing. What I can share is my personal perspective as that is truly unique, but it is something that I am offering, not enforcing onto others. I look forward to learning something new with the kids today!