Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Empowering Lifeskills

some skills are just not covered by the curriculum...

I promised that I'd photoshop* this photo and add effects to the plastic lightsabres we were holding. It took me a couple of months to get around to it and about an hour to complete. Once I'd finished I pushed it out on to twitter as a bit of a joke.

I got a tweet back from @SharonHarper

and followed the link. It led to a TED video of Gever Tulley (@gever). You can watch it below.

I did all these things as a kid (and more-see number 2 of my 7 Things), though my copyright infringments were limited by the technology of the time; the cassette recorder and the transistor radio.

How many of you did the things that Gever Tulley talks about? What about your children? What about your class? I know I was shocked to find that my son had been using a power drill and handsaw to make a "video camera" while he was in kindergarten. Are we too protective of our children and students? If so... what changed and when?

Another Gever Tulley TED Talk including a rollercoaster created by 7 year olds.

*I don't actually have photoshop, but "paint.netted" doesn't roll of the tongue in quite the same way.

Originally posted at What Now? What Next? So What?


Wm Chamberlain said...

Good post, I have found there is even a backlash amongst the Christian community in regards to allowing "boys to be boys". We do try to keep our children safe, I would say overly safe.

As a boy I did plenty of stupid things. My friends and I used to shoot bottle rockets at each other. My brother and I used to shoot at each other with our bb/pellet guns. I don't remember not having a pocket knife and used to play mumblety-peg barefoot. (Google it if you want to know how to play.) We had a swing on the river that would allow us to get in the air at least 30 feet before we let go to come crashing into the water. We even jumped off a railroad trestle into way too little water. Was any of this smart? Obviously not, but I learned where boundaries were while doing these activities. I learned from them and now I don't do them anymore. I am surprised my friends and I survived actually....

Michael/@teachernz said...

I think that's a big part of it... exploring, pushing and knowing your boundaries to keep safe.

It's pretty obvious that Gever Tulley is teaching tinkering with safety in mind, but allowing creativity and problem solving to flourish in a way that has sadly atrophied in most schools and their curricula.

Maybe it's time to move these experiences out of the specialist summer schools and back into mainstream education?

jkmcclung said...

Throughout this video I found myself thinking about childhood memories and it turns out that those memories of my own stupidity end up being the ones I am most fond of.

I have 5 nieces/nephews and I often second guess my sister's and brother's decision making on "safe-guarding" their kids. It natural for a parent to try and protect their child from danger, but I feel like as a society we can often overstep the boundaries.

It's tough for a kid to be dependent if they are never given the opportunity to explore on their own and get hurt every once in a while. Excellent post, really enjoyed the video.