Everywhere I turn, there is more evidence and support for self-directed, intrinsically motivated learning. There is enormous recognition that our world has changed drastically over the last 50 years and our educational system is not keeping up, in fact they are so buried, mired and just plain old stuck in the status quo, they may never be able to do the 180 that is required.
Yesterday, MacKenzie received a letter from Jonathan Lash, the President of Hampshire College, encouraging her to accept the scholarships she has been offered and attend Hampshire. His reasoning for choosing this alternative college can be condensed into five basic sentences:
Hampshire is a place where you own your education and are driven by your own
questions and ideas... Students who are driven by curiosity and excited by ideas
thrive at Hampshire...By the time you graduate from college you are likely to end
up in a job that hasn't yet been invented. You will have to adapt and reinvent your-
self to keep up with the accelerating pace of technological, social, and environment-
al change. Taking the opportunity to shape your own education is the best way to train
for that challenge.
This man obviously recognizes the importance of self-directed learning. He is not the only one. Our colleges and universities as well as employers are looking for, begging, and rewarding young people who can think for themselves. Those who are curious and alive and ready to seek out answers to their questions instead of having them served up on a plate. Why then are we as a society so dang caught up in preserving a system that does not work for so many of our kids?
Happenings at Deep Root:
This place was humming today. Bree had two or three projects in mind when she arrived with the fish and plants for our aquaponics project. Conagher and Hannah came in a few minutes later. Conagher had a bucket of K'nex (had to go look it up to spell it) and a couple of books. He was willing to offer his expertise in setting up the aquarium. Elwood arrived within minutes with his family's computer. The boys immediately got completely involved in “Mine Craft”. Which at first appearance looks like Legos in a virtual world. I guess they kind of behave like them too. You are building your world. Hannah spent time looking stuff up on our computer and Bree hot glued crayons on to cardboard for her first project. Andrew showed up to help Elwood get Linux on the codged together computer and talk “shop.” Well, he got caught up in Mine Craft and helped them find another version and get that downloaded.
The whole day was a blur of activity and conversation. We took time out to walk to the Post Office and the Flea Market across the road. Bree wanted to find materials for future projects. But, we all came away with something. I actually had to walk back across the street to get my car. We found an awesome stand for the fish tank. Elwood found a record that he will be melting and turning into a bowl (at his house, thank goodness we don't have an oven here.); Hannah found a Katona (Japanese sword), well she didn't buy it, but was working on her Mom as they were walking out the door this afternoon. And Bree, the one who started the whole expedition came away with 2 bags full of assorted items for 10.00. It was impressive to watch her add everything up in her head to make sure she had enough money. Meanwhile the fish are acclimating to their new home (we hope) and I plan on vacuuming the floor when I finish writing this.
We will be open Wednesday-Friday. We are excited to announce: Karen Wells will be here all three days to offer 2 hour Theater Workshops. Please make sure anyone who may be interested knows about this opportunity.