Bravo – and spot on to Seymour and Alan..
In my ignorance, flavored with kids’ insight and experiences… and my love for mathematics.. i think aloud – boldly…
Is not mathland life?
We live in mathland.
Is that not why we deem PISA so heavily.. our instincts tell us how mathematics is a universal language?
(as i believe all languages are becoming moreso – kids craving more foreign language acquisition as they are becoming more global whether they travel physically or not, ie: frenchland is dispersing as well)
– and yet
Our busy-ness and drive to compete and improve and measure, keeps us from the essence of that universality. We are indeed measuring success per math not per mathematics, not per mathematical thinking. This is such a huge difference. Success is defined, and hence, progress is achieved or more often not achieved, on completely different levels, with completely different values, with completely different results.
In my perception, that is why change hasn’t happened since Dewey and Emerson and all the other greats have written about self-directed, learner-owned learning. We are mentally, emotionally, financially, physically… blinded to that difference. It’s as if it’s so huge and so small all at once. Because the words we choose to talk about a PISA-type success resonate with that instinct toward mathematically thinking, (and yet are indeed rather – math), we succumb to the allure.
And because, so it seems, that will never get us to self-directed ownership, we continue in this perpetual frinzy of searching for the golden key.. the bullet answer.
It seems the answer is.. the answers are everywhere, in everyone. It seems, there is no one answer. Nothing is for everyone. And it seems, most answers are not really answers, most tend to swim in inaccuracy.
If we’re wanting to sustain in life, to thrive in life, the answers, or more accurately, the questions, have got to be found in a person(s).
Papert again – find the curriculum in each child.
So yeah – creating a mathland is certainly helpful.. but i’m wondering.. what if we used less of our resources to create a mathland, and freed up more of our valuable resources, the minds of youth, everywhere, to notice more of the mathland that is life. [youth = you to whatever degree you decide]
Trusting that learning and mathematical thinking and French are so huge that they will show up, seems to be the first step in the change we seek.
Trusting that if anything is needed, if anything is worthwhile, it will show up.
Let’s take a deep breath and start providing more free spaces, encouraging people to notice more.
We’re thinking we will be blown away by the results.. by the unlikely.
We can endure the very likely bouts of perceived waste/laziness/chaos as we detoxify old patterns of thinking/doing/being.