Today is a slow learning day. A little tweet by @alisoniredale on a Slow Education event up here in the NW reminded me of a lovely little hardback I have on my shelves. The authors state in the introduction that the book’s purpose is ‘to prove that the best things in life really are free … and that we can enter a world of joy and freedom.’ The contents include such delights as; cloud watching, sticking matchsticks in vegetables to make vegetable aliens, waiting for the tea to brew, philosophising, building houses of cards and yawning. I’ve already achieved 3 of these today and aim to get a few more in before bedtime. I’m not aiming for any specific one’s I’m just relying on serendipity. I just hope it’s not ‘watching hail bounce off the pavement.’
Anyway, back to the tweet. I followed the link to the Slow Education movement and really love its stated beliefs:
Promoting deep learning in the context of a broad curriculum that recognises the talents of all students.
We believe the quality of the educational engagement between teacher and learner is more important than judging student ability by standardised tests.
We support investment in education and in teaching as a profession as the essential moral foundation of society.
There’s a tab to a few videos , who’s involved and links to media coverage. The Independent newspaper link didn’t work for me but I found it here. It does appear to have intermittent linking errors tho’. Is Tom Hodgkinson of The Independent the same Tom Hodgkinson who co-wrote my book ‘The Book of Idle Pleasures?’
What is slow learning?
Finding the time for slow education
Are you ready to join the slow education movement?
Imagine looking through a window. The window has a set of curtains which you are holding in your hands. Those curtains are closed. You hear a car outside and you want to see it. If you open and close the curtains very, very quickly you might not be able to tell if the car is moving or not. You will see there is a car there, but the length of time you were able to spend looking at the car might not have been long enough for you to determine whether it was parked or in motion. If you had kept the curtains open for a little longer, you would have been able to see clearly whether the car was moving.
This is a beautiful explanation of controlling shutter speed in photography. A slow shutter speed or keeping the curtains open for longer gives an image of movement. I think, in education, we sometimes close the curtains too quickly either on our students or on the topics, and, whilst we need to keep them open longer we also need to let students have some control over how long they wish the curtains to be open.
Now, where can I find a box of matches?