Friday, February 27, 2009

'Understanding the thing that one Tames'

A recent reread of Antonine De Saint-Exupery's delightful book the Little Prince lead me back to an earlier post, The Tame and the Wild. One of the many stories the Little Prince relates to the pilot, is his meeting with the fox. The fox, longing to be tamed eventually explains to the Little Prince that to be tamed is to establish ties, to be connected and to create memories of that which has been tamed. The Little Prince however tells the fox while he would like to tame him, he has no time. Disappointed,the fox replies, 'One only understands the things that one tames.' He goes on to tell the Little Prince that this taming takes patience and perhaps very little words.

This I think adds something to my earlier exploration of the metaphor, 'The Tame and the Wild' and what it means for education. If understanding is the tussle of taming the wild, then we need to start with some wild ideas or topics in our curriculum. Like the Little Prince we should not be scared of or scared off engaging with the wild (the wild fox initially tells the Little Prince he can not play with him because he has not been tamed; he's off limits!). The understandings gained through venturing into the unknown will be of great depth and relevance to the learner, because as the fox suggests, you have to invest so much of yourself into 'the taming'. However if we keep the curriculum safe and start with the tame, well, the discovery has been done and you only come to know how someone else tamed the wild.

1 comment:

Discount said...

This is something which is really interesting & very well illustrated..

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