What is teaching if not providing tools to switch on our extraordinary natural human capabilities and equipment? “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish…” goes the saying.
The human “toolbox” is immense! It’s a multi-leveled, multi-dimensional, poly-chromatic symphony of sympathies, attitudes, choices and connections. Just like we are!
It’s like the inverse of one of those ancient Chinese box puzzles. Instead of opening a big box and finding smaller and smaller boxes inside, you open a small box and find a bigger one inside! The more you use the tools, the more they open up new frontiers!
Instead of reducing everything down to fit ‘little box’ views of the world, the natural tools open everything up into greater and greater vistas!
Right now Talking Hands Talking Feet is doing “Math-a-magic” with a wild bunch of 2nd graders in Santa Fe. It’s a blast! It turns conventional math teaching on its head, actually helping kids to think according to natural principles (as a compliment to their textbook learning).
One of the songs in this curriculum is simply called – TWO. It helps to introduce children to the brilliant comparison/contrast tool which the law of duality can be! It begins like this:
On the third planet out from the Sun
Learning stuff about nature’s fun
One of the best discovery tools
Is to search for things that come in TWOS
Look inside out and upside down
Search the whole wide world around
Get on your socks and get on your shoes
We’re looking for things that come in TWOS
And then it goes on to sing and act out many kinds of examples of TWOS, from opposites to couplings, adjacencies and pairs! It’s fun to do and the children enjoy it. They realize very soon that it goes absolutely everywhere!
To their wonderment and joy, as we opened up examples of “twos” we showed them how the word LISTEN contains the word SILENT – and isn’t it true that to be able to listen you must be silent?
“Wow! How did you know that?” one girl exclaimed.
“It’s in the word, it’s in many words, it’s in numbers, it’s in the color of things, it’s in the shape of things, in trees, in water, in flowers… it’s in everything. The “magic” is in everything! You just need to know how to see it!”
That’s where providing tools comes in!