Mothering Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,638 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
<a href="http://www.waldorflibrary.org/Journal_Articles/pressure.pdf" target="_blank">http://www.waldorflibrary.org/Journa...s/pressure.pdf</a><br><br>
Pressure and the Spirit of Play<br>
Author: John F. Gardner<br><br>
From 1963! Interesting to note that many of the trends he mentions have only gotten stronger in 44 years. Also interesting to note that I can remember back 44 years. But my grandson says I'm not an old lady yet<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,069 Posts
Interesting. I wonder if this was an East Coast vs West Coast difference when it comes to academics, which I still see as really strong.<br><br>
My own growing up was not like that at all. No pressure, and probably because I lived on a ranch in the countryside I was in nature all the time. I admit that growing up this way I always thought of nature as being a very intense presence. I remember laying in the fields and realizing how much miniature life is teeming under our feet, very busy and exotic but completely invisible to us most of the time. Still to this day I just love to be out in the wind because the air feels so infectiously vibrant. I don't remember being bored, ever, except at school, even though I had little company to play with me. And I don't remember ever being pressured academically.<br><br>
But my mother had a different take. She grew up even more "austerely", much fewer toys, much more remote with fewer playmates. And she started school much later, beginning at age seven. In those days the only pressure she felt in school was to behave the teacher. Unlike today, then if you were one to misbehave in school, your parents were surely gonna kill you. Yet my mother became one of the most brilliantly intelligent persons I've ever known, a real brainy brain.<br><br>
My brother is a genius too, one who was always engaged in schemes and wild adventures in the out-of-doors, who got terrible grades in school not because he was adhd or whatever but because he was always daydreaming about wild adventures and crazy inventions etc. Now he has a PhD and works at the top of his field, but what he wants for his own children is a very pressured academic track. I think of him as infected with "my kid will have to compete with the Chinese"-itis.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,638 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Whoops! I forgot to subscribe to this thread! I'm getting ready to move and I'm sorta distracted--just a mite.<br><br>
Linda, your stories about yourself and your family make me wonder if the best we can expect from education is that it not damage a person's inherent capacities. How much does school actually "teach" us?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,069 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Deborah</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8048678"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Linda, your stories about yourself and your family make me wonder if the best we can expect from education is that it not damage a person's inherent capacities. How much does school actually "teach" us?</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I somewhat agree with this. I think it's analogous to organic gardening, which I don't think goes real well if it's just, "let nature do it's own thing". But the most important secret of organic gardening or farming is to make sure and give the plants and animals the best possible conditions for its kind to grow up in on its own timetable. Forcing crops with stimulants like mega-fertilizers definitely causes you problems in the long run.<br><br>
I definitely believe that traditional education can stunt creativity. We do not know how to teach it. And little children come to it completely naturally. Why on earth don't we do better to work <i>with</i> the innate talents and development of children instead of so often working against it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,638 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Ah, so to continue the agricultural metaphor, if you have land that is best suited to be pasture, you simply try to provide support so that the land can be the best pasture possible, rather than spending huge amounts of effort to grow field crops in an unsuitable field.<br><br>
So education should pursue two things, basically:<br>
first to help children discover who they are, in as broad a sense as possible. This includes discovering what they are bad at, not just what they are good at.<br>
second to nurture children's capacities so they can develop them to the highest level possible.<br><br>
What I've seen with my daughter is that she has broad interests and can do a wide variety of stuff AND what she is good at she is very good at. So she is okay at painting and cooking and gardening and singing, etc., but she is super at math and science type stuff. I like the breadth and depth of waldorf.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top