Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Documenting natural childhood learning

Expand Messages
  • Andrius Kulikauskas
    Jinan, Yes, I was in Bangalore and remember you and your pottery murals http://www.kumbham.org It s great to see you on the Learning Communities list. I am
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 10, 2005
      Jinan,

      Yes, I was in Bangalore and remember you and your pottery murals
      http://www.kumbham.org It's great to see you on the Learning
      Communities list. I am happy to share your project to document the
      natural childhood learning process as a way to appreciate how we as
      people (and children) are designed to learn, including the importance of
      sensory experience. Perhaps somebody might suggest funding sources.

      I myself think that your project is relevant for our literacy flash
      cards that we'd like to introduce in Kenya as a social good and a
      business opportunity for Samwel Kongere. One of the key hurdles for us
      is to find the right kinds of "games" which the children might play with
      the cards and thereby teach themselves how to read at the same time.
      These games may be very much of the kind that you are documenting. They
      may be of local origin, they may be new, or they may be inspired by
      other traditions such as your own. But I think there is a lot of
      promise in linking your natural, sensory approaches with traditional
      literacy issues. We're working with Samwel at
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/holistichelping/ and it would be great if
      you might join us there (send a blank message to
      holistichelping-subscribe@yahoogroups.com) Maybe we can think of ways
      to structure your project so that it might be funded in smaller pieces
      and in ways that develop the assets of our laboratory's network (see
      http://www.ms.lt, http://www.globalvillages.info, http://www.openleader.com)

      Here in Lithuania, Vilija Bortkeviciene is an architect who came to
      realize ideas similar to yours below. She felt that the urban projects
      that we live in are dehumanizing, and that it is important for people to
      live in nature and have their own space, their own land within it. She
      has moved with her son to a small village and they have built a school
      for the children there. Recently they got an Internet connection. She
      talks a lot about the centrality of sensory experience, which goes hand
      and hand with the wealth of such in nature. Whereas in our cities we
      lose both the experiences and the faculties. Perhaps there is a wider
      network of people with your outlook (although difficult to organize on
      the Internet!) who might strengthen each other by exchanging such
      knowlege and sharing that further.

      I am very much interested in finding ways to redo education from scratch
      and center it on self-education. I feel I was "self-educated" even as I
      sat through all the years of public school often knowing already what
      was being taught, and so patiently watching the learning methods and
      process of the teacher and students. I feel that even more than an
      atrophy or underdevelopment of our sensory experience, adults in the
      Western society (and the other societies that I am familiar with) are
      not interested to grow in moral thinking, in personal accountability, in
      love, in empathy, in conceptual clarity, in honesty, and so on. I think
      at our lab we've made some documentable progress in helping each other
      as full grown adults to challenge ourselves to grow further. I believe
      that the type of learning that you describe is relevant for us as adults
      and a challenge that we are increasingly interested to take up. Many of
      our leaders are turning locally to engage others and apply themselves.
      I wonder how learning to challenge oneself relates to learning (or
      unlearning) to live through all of our senses.

      I ask this question because perhaps it may help us value and apply your
      approaches, and may also express your values in a way that can be shared
      universally, and applied locally as makes sense, by a global network of
      people with shared values. I'm finding that "independent thinkers" have
      all manner of views and private languages, and yet share the same
      existential situation, and so are able to agree based on our shared
      values, starting with "caring about thinking". Also, if we adults
      approach our own self-learning in a constructive way, then we will have
      much better goals for our children.

      Thank you for championing such valuable insights!
      I wish you success, and I hope we might find small ways to engage you
      and those you care for.

      Andrius

      Andrisu Kulikauskas
      Minciu Sodas
      http://www.ms.lt
      ms@...
      +370 (5) 264 5950
      Vilnius, Lithuania


      jinankb wrote:
      > Dear Andrius Kulikauskas
      > Were you at the DYD2 conference in Banglore?
      >
      > I hope you wont mind my mail to you.
      >
      > I am exploring the possibilities of getting funds to do a documentation
      > on indigenous childhood ( Games, toys, song and dance and also the day
      > to day skills like cooking etc) both in movie and image form with
      > supporting literature. Please go through the proposal and suggest to me
      > who will be able to support this activity. I live in Kerala, India in a
      > potters village for the past 12 years. Please see the site
      > www.kumbham.org to see my work with the potters. I am involved in re
      > looking at the cetrality of education in our lives. reviving traditional
      > craft skills, indigenous learning process(Natural life long learning). I
      > am re looking at the possibility of community as learning space where
      > children are not regimented as is the case now in all schools including
      > the so called alternative ones. I believe unconditional freedom, love
      > and security is what a child needs and only this can bring about free,
      > independent and loving adults. I am also re looking at the role of
      > text/literacy in alienating humans from real eco centric knowledge and
      > how indigenous knowledge is a result of non text mediated or
      > experiential processes and also studying at which age and by what means
      > these secondary means of knowing ( text, computer etc) should be introduced.
      >
      > Most of the indigenous revival/ recovery attempts are taking the western
      > route. Recovering indigenous culture does not lie in getting back the
      > artifacts from the western museums or doing all kinds of researches and
      > documentation or sending our children to the present day schools. There
      > is no true knowledge in the schools. it distorts the senses our door
      > way to knowledge. It also destroys intuition, our very tool for
      > acquiring ‘life sustaining wisdom knowledge’. In-fact recovering
      > indigenous culture might even mean doing away with the present school
      > system, the present institutions/museums, documentation etc. I feel it
      > is already too late as even the definitions of knowledge, indigenous
      > knowledge etc are also defined from the western point of view and most
      > 'indigenous' people by getting educated ( conditioned) by western
      > knowledge system are also trapped in to believing the western knowledge
      > systems.
      >
      > I have attched a paper on de-textualising knowledge.
      >
      > I work independently with out any organization.
      >
      > Jinan
      >
      > * Documentation of informal learning (natural way of learning)
      > among rural/tribal indigenous children.***
      >
      >
      > Objectives
      >
      >
      > The documentation of children’s activities has two objectives.
      >
      > 1
      >
      > To understand indigenous knowledge and process of learning, creating etc
      > can be understood by studying how children in these communities make
      > sense of the world. Happiest and free children are found in indigenous,
      > non-literate communities where children are totally left free to learn
      > about the world all by themselves with out any interference from the adults.
      >
      > 2
      >
      > The second objective is to juxtapose this system with the modern
      > schooling system where even the best ones are not as child friendly and
      > also to understand how indigenous cultures are dying due to the
      > introduction of modern schooling system in these cultures.
      >
      > This documentation could also used as an eye opener to the mainstream
      > western society / schooling process to understand how actually children
      > learn and are capable of learning with out being taught. children do not
      > need to be “raised” or “educated.” Just as a child does not have to be
      > “taught” to speak or to walk, he does not need to be “taught” almost all
      > the things we as parents and teachers usually spend our time trying to
      > teach. What's more, not only are our attempts to teach children what we
      > want them to learn unnecessary, they are usually paradoxical in their
      > effects and lead eventually to the opposite of what was intended.
      >
      > The human organism has been evolving on this planet for about three
      > billion years and our genetic structure provides each of us with a
      > unique path to actualize our awesome inborn potential. The reason that
      > almost no one actually actualizes their full potential is because we, as
      > children, are not allowed to follow our inborn path. We are forced to
      > follow parents who believe that they know how we should feel, think and
      > act. Where as in indigenous communities this was the case.
      >
      > Western adult society follows a dictum; we are perfect and now others
      > need to be perfected.The project to 'civilize', 'Christianize',
      > 'democratize', 'develop' are all extensions of this thinking.
      >
      > This is also applied to their children also by treating them helpless
      > who need to be taught, raised etc. Who ever undergoes through this
      > schooling process also under goes this shift in their attitude to others.
      >
      > This is due to the shift from knowledge as process to knowledge as product.
      >
      > Modern adult has misunderstood the role of toys. First of all toy is a
      > process and making of the toy is as much part of the process as playing
      > with it and often the toy is incomplete with out the player. Toy making
      > is one of the means of exploring the quality of the materials, various
      > other principles that we have ‘learned’ in schools with out ever
      > understanding it properly nor experiencing it. Laws of motion, gravity,
      > plant behavior, etc are all tested in these activities. Almost all the
      > things we ‘learn’ in school- laws of physcics, chemistry about plants,
      > mathematical laws etc are all experienced in these activities.
      >
      > In fact a child is never given a doll, which is realistic as it is bound
      > to cause confusion to the child.
      >
      >
      > Children in no literate
      > communities.
      >
      > What children in the so-called non-literate communities learn/play/do
      > depends on the nature around them and the activities of the adults
      > they see around them.
      >
      > The purpose of the games toys etc that children get engaged in their
      > settings has two purposes. To know the world and its ways and to develop
      > various skills, and abilities needed in their adults life. This can be
      > compared to the young animals and their activities. This is actually
      > a preparation period. To get to know their territory and to sharpen
      > their tools for knowing.
      >
      > It is as if there is a biological process involved in creating
      > these activities. These activities are meant to sensitize the senses, to
      > balance their body to plan, to be alert, to take care etc In this
      > process they get to know the nature intimately especially from a
      > functional point of view. They know the edible and the non edible
      > fruits, leaves, medical plants, various properties of leaves, fruits,
      > nuts, seeds, they get to know the birds, their behavior and mating
      > patterns. Children learn to imitate the bird cries etc. This is the
      > process of knowing the world.
      >
      > The children in my community knows all the trees, plants, birds in their
      > vicinity, the fish, knows how to swim, cycling, cooking etc all by
      > themselves with out the interference of adults. Every year they invent
      > new games/songs etc.
      >
      > This is a result on keen observation, an interest in knowing the world,
      > to relate and situate firmly in their immediate envionment. This is a
      > biological need. The principle of life itself.
      >
      >
      >
      > In order to understand this we have to remove our egoistic fragmented
      > blinkers. We will have to resituate ourselves to a neutral plane with
      > out biases/needs and misconception about indigenous knowledge systems.
      >
      >
      > Plan of action
      >
      > 1.The documentation is on various activities/toys/ games/nature used
      > for sensitizing the senses. (Montessoriens have got it all wrong by
      > turning these in to methods and curriculums. It is in the nature of any
      > child to awaken its own sense, we need not do it for them, Let us first
      > awaken our own senses.)
      >
      > 2.Study and documentations of various things /toys children make and
      > the process of mastering the skill of doing it.
      >
      > 3. The gender-based learning also is to be documented a well as the age
      > factor. What children learn at which age? (Gender again is an issue
      > of modernity now exported to all other cultures)
      >
      > 1. Senses and related activities
      >
      > 2. Learning to make and play tops.
      >
      > 3. Learning to catch birds/ fishing and hunting.
      >
      > 4. Making house, role-play etc.
      >
      > 5. Handling knife.
      >
      > 6. Girl related games.
      >
      > 7. Balance of the body.
      >
      > 8. Learning to climb trees/ swimming/cycling.
      >
      > 9. Leaf games.
      >
      > 10. Stone games.
      >
      > 11. Inventing songs/dance
      >
      > The documentation is to be in still and video format. (5 to
      > 10 minutes each)
      >
      > The duration is for three to four years as most of these
      > activities are seasonal and each year they repeat. So a 8 year old
      > learning to do, for example ‘spinning top’ is repeated for three to four
      > years and then that game disappears for ever from the age of 12 or so.
      > So this activity is to be documented through out this time.
      >
      > The purpose of documenting this has several reasons.
      >
      > 1, these activities are disappearing forever with the new agenda of
      > ‘education for all’
      >
      > 2, these activities must be studied in order to understand the
      > nature’s way of educating the human beings.
      >
      > 3, This natural way of understanding could be used for introducing
      > the modern advanced knowledge with out alienating the learner.
      >
      > 4, To understand the process of acquiring the sense of mathematics,
      > science, language etc
      >
      > Budget
      >
      > EQUIPMENTS
      >
      > Sl.no
      >
      >
      >
      > Item
      >
      >
      >
      > Cost
      >
      >
      >
      > Total
      >
      > 1
      >
      >
      >
      > Video camera
      >
      >
      >
      > Rs.75, 000
      >
      >
      >
      > Rs 75,000
      >
      > 2
      >
      >
      >
      > Accessories
      >
      > (Battery, Charger,
      >
      > Memory stick
      >
      > Tripod, filters)
      >
      >
      >
      > Rs 50,000
      >
      >
      >
      > Rs 50,000
      >
      > 3
      >
      >
      >
      > Capture card
      >
      >
      >
      > Rs 50,000
      >
      >
      >
      > Rs.50, 000
      >
      > 4
      >
      >
      >
      > Computer
      >
      >
      >
      > Rs 60,000
      >
      >
      >
      > Rs 60,000
      >
      > 5
      >
      >
      >
      > Software
      >
      >
      >
      > Rs 50,000
      >
      >
      >
      > Rs 50,000
      >
      > 6
      >
      >
      >
      > Tapes
      >
      >
      >
      > Rs 10,000
      >
      >
      >
      > Rs 10,000
      >
      > SUB TOTAL
      >
      >
      >
      > Rs2, 95,000
      >
      >
      >
      > Rs2, 95,000
      >
      > PERSONAL
      >
      > 1
      >
      >
      >
      > Co coordinator
      >
      >
      >
      > Rs10,000 x 12 x2
      >
      >
      >
      > Rs 2,40,000
      >
      > 2
      >
      >
      >
      > Editing help
      >
      >
      >
      > Rs 50,000
      >
      >
      >
      > Rs 50,000
      >
      > 3
      >
      >
      >
      > Travel/stay /food
      >
      >
      >
      > Rs 1,00,000
      >
      >
      >
      > Rs 1.00,000
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > SUB TOTAL
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Rs 4,40,000
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > GRANT TOTAL
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Rs 7,35,000
      >
      > ($17,000)
      >
      > Jinan
      > www.kumbham.org
      > 09447121544,04931 221568,0487 2386723
      > nilambur-679329,Kerala.
      >
      > Jinan
      > www.kumbham.org <http://www.kumbham.org>
      > 09447121544,04931 221568,0487 2386723
      > nilambur-679329,Kerala.
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.