Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tame and the Wild

If we want gain some sharper insights on our work or take a different perspective on what we do, where do we look? Perhaps we need to lift our gaze and look beyond our familiar terriority. This was the challenge David Perkins from Harvard University presented to us at last year's Project Zero Summer Insitute. He presented two constrasting images for us to grapple with; the tame and the wild and asked how and why do these ideas matter to education.

To my mind came the image of the par terre, a garden form with its ordered and sculptured appearance, trimmed and tranined; a top down order being imposed to create a tamed, but beautiful form. In contrast I imagined the overgrown, self seeded garden that has an emergent order, its own synergy where things find their place rather than being put in place.

Education tame or wild? Is what we offer today in education tame? Has it become an ordered and predictable venture that rarely strays from the plan? If so what is needed to 'wild the tame'? Conversely though we could ask what is good about 'tame', what does it illuminate for us that we may not discover in a wild environment?

These ideas are presented in the following presentation, Understanding Today & Tomorrow

Also see blog post at Contemporary Learning

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