Few Adults Crawl

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Sometimes I think maybe we shouldn’t publish anything new and read all the wonderful “old” stuff. Like Few Adults Crawl by Tony Kallet (who died much too young) of Mountain View Center in Colorado. It was published by the North Dakota Study Group in 1995 and is (I think) still available.

This is how it starts: “Should our children grow up to be audacious? Bold and daring, spirited, adventurous? To ask the question is to set the goal. How can we but say, yes, we do want to encourage audacious thinkers who will challenge and test and probe? And yet, I suggest that such of what we do in school hinders the attainment of the goal, blinders the growth of such thinkers.” (He reminds me of Alfie Kohn when he asks simple questions about the impact of lining up, raising one’s hand et al.) He asks over and over. “”What are the alternatives?”—the unthinkables we don’t think about. Every chapter is worth talking about.

Some of my favorites are “The One Sided Child” where he asks why we insist on “well-roundedness”? or “Notes on a Teacher’s Job” where he posits three fascinating tasks: preparing the environment, “binding time, space and ideas,” and “the cultivation of misperception.” It’s wonderful. And “Some Thoughts on Imitation and Other Matters” where he compares teaching instrumental music and learning to read—a topic of great interest to me since I was so poor at the former and good at the latter! And more and more. Write to the Center for Teaching and learning, University of North Dakota for your own copy. Or click here to download the pdf.

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