What follows describes an innovative approach to learning. Included are well-researched steps in an outline of how creative teachers access intuition for answers in the moment. This is what home-schoolers can use both at home and in all situations from education to commerce.
Keep in mind that taking children out of the school room is easy. Getting the schoolroom out of the rest of us is more difficult. Two populations whose success rests on intuition are artists and children. Home-schoolers have the opportunity to develop unique, non-classroom based curriculum using resources that allow intuition to close the gaps that otherwise follow us into future families, workplaces and communities.
Most of the learning done in schoolrooms is theoretical. It is based on out-of-context concepts and testing. Unlearning behavior that is geared toward theoretical knowledge means defining how a student can change “theoretical knowledge” into “intuitive courage”.
CLEARING COMMON GROUND
Baby animals act “instinctively”. This simple awareness reminds us that we all operated instinctively as “baby humans”. Attitudes such as fear, judgment and curiosity cause powerful intuitive responses in humans. The way we learn to deal with each life situation provides a tool by which we develop enterprising abilities. We have very few natural skills for survival as children, but success can be exponentially enhanced by supporting intuitive choice-making in their education.
We know that studies based in one area or technology limit perceptions significantly. After a time, brain cells actually begin to atrophy. Judgement can become narrow through limitations of our tools and context confined to expectations. Alternative media and the arts provide “telescoping tools” that expand as inquiry expands, opening doors to meaning and building bridges. Gaps in knowledge begin to be filled by intuitive leaps and bounds. We gain perspective by knowing how to use the tools that come from children, rather than our tools developed for children. Becoming familiar with the use and effects of various innovative tools is key to curriculum that will foster entrepreneurial tendencies.
Asked to draw a house or a tree, the pictures children draw describe many levels of understanding; lifestyle, perception, expression, responsiveness. If adults are asked to draw a house, generally speaking, they all look the same. That reminds us, in order for children to become their own persons, learning needs to remain in context while active. Students are capable of mapping unlimited meaning, memory and connectivity to lessons where relationships between various aspects are fostered. The best way to do that in a home-school setting is to use interdisciplinary resources. Sounds, shapes, movement, sculpture, drawings, sign-language, games, theater, provide the richest opportunities for neural growth and retention, second only to actual experience of the subject matter, which isn’t always possible.
Students outside the standardized educational environment learn how it feels to recognize and develop their own learning tools. Lifelong learners are creative in many ways and become closer to our concept of artists of all kinds than business majors. For example, if students learn how “handedness” can affect the way one sees a situation, the opportunity may come to recognize patterns of a volatile stock market in the physics of an earthquake*. Inter-active experiences provide not only the opportunity to get and give real-time feedback from tactile resources but a variety of mental stimulation promotes “intuitive success”, (just as a pot of water naturally boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit).
A natural learning process was defined by the Italian educator, Sophia Cavaletti. She developed a unique approach to education based on what she learned from her students about the relationship between the curriculum, the student and the teacher. The entire Montessori movement grew from her work and is perpetuated through many sources. Another important teacher of teachers, Parker Palmer writes and talks with teachers across the country. His book, “To Know as We Are Known” describes how the teacher must move out of the way if the student is to develop his or her own relationship with the subject. The principle of personal meaning is perhaps the most important element in transforming education into a lifetime of successes.
The learning relationship is threefold:
1) The teacher prepares a dedicated space that is safe.
2) The subject is prepared to be encountered within that space using an abundance of exploratory resources.
3)The student is invited into the space and supported in creating a relationship with the subject.
Based on what Grant Wiggins called “the sludge test”; this encourages discovery of whatever can be known by whatever means are available.
Following is a framework of steps for connecting to intuitive successful learning patterns.
Steps of inquiry have been mapped to the human creative process by Maria Harris. Begin exploration with exercises as laid out here for the purpose of getting into the creative process rather than solely analytical processes. The homeschool teacher will discern and provide a variety of specific, appropriate questions, resources and actions. For the purposes of this article, the subject is “creativity” and we are the student. [Teachers are expected to know the process intimately].
1) Contemplation quiets the brain-stem fear impulse, which is hardwired into everyone.
Invite a student to express themselves in a common and safe way. Have them recall a sound and try to “draw it” as simply as possible. This promotes instant success, since there is no correct way to do this, but each person’s drawing is “correct” for themselves. (Age-appropriate invitations allow these exercises to be used for all age-levels, addressing widely varied issues).
2) Engagement – Present one aspect of a specific subject,(for creativity; imagination, skill, experience, memories, support, tools, resources, time, space, etc.) Create a simple design to represent one aspect of the subject, just as the sound was recalled and drawn. This also cannot be wrong. The barrier between brain functions is crossed by setting up positive feedback-loops while getting into the subject.
3) Form-giving – Add another aspect of the subject and choose two media, or two variants of one medium, (sound and shape, movement and color, etc). Create a relationship between two aspects of the inquiry by expressing them with inter-disciplinary media. Begin to consider what really counts and what is still missing.
4) Emergence -Allow talents, skills and intelligences to influence the simplistic version of what is represented. Rework, start over, add, or subtract media, concepts, etc. This is where language comes into play in the form of questions, such as “How does this representation fit the subject?”, “What is missing?”, “Where does this belong?” and observations about the essence of the relationships created.
5) Ongoing feedback – According to Wiggins, as teachers, we should continually ask, “Is it valued, valuable and in context?”, setting up a constant feedback loop rather than assigning and testing.
Find below some educational sites to browse. Not necessarily home-school sites, since many on-line sites tend to be packaged