Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Child is Made of One Hundred

The following poem is by Loris Malaguzzi.

The child
is made of one hundred.
The child has
a hundred languages
a hundred hands
a hundred thoughts
a hundred ways of thinking
of playing, of speaking.
A hundred always a hundred
ways of listening
of marveling of loving
a hundred joys
for singing and understanding
a hundred worlds
to discover
a hundred worlds
to invent
a hundred worlds
to dream.
The child has
a hundred languages
(and a hundred hundred hundred more)
but they steal ninety-nine.
The school and the culture
separate the head from the body.
They tell the child:
to think without hands
to do without head
to listen and not to speak
to understand without joy
to love and to marvel
only at Easter and at Christmas.
They tell the child:
to discover the world already there
and of the hundred
they steal ninety-nine.
They tell the child:
that work and play
reality and fantasy
science and imagination
sky and earth
reason and dream
are things
that do not belong together.
And thus they tell the child
that the hundred is not there.
The child says:
No way. The hundred is there.

Imagine if Picasso had listened to an art teacher tell him that he could not put both eyes on the same side of the nose of the grandmother in his protrait. 

And yet how many educators can be found guilty of this very act, as we try to get students to do things "the correct way".
Due to the industrialized fast food pedagogy of today's educational system we are all guilty of streamlining our processes to the "best" method.
But whose "best" method is this? The teacher? The student? The text?

The mind is only limited by the parameters we choose to place upon the learning process.

However, in order to overcome the possibility of chaos, it safer and let's face it much easier to educate the way McDonalds builds Big Macs.

Two All Beef Patties, Special Sauce, Lettuce, Cheese, Pickles, Onions on a Sesame Seed Bun. 
The same in Pasadena, California as it is in Arlington, Virginia or even Mazatlan,  Mexico.

Unfortunately this only serves to standardize everything and essentially as the poem suggests, steal the ninety-nine. 

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