My brother says: be humble. It is not about the messenger; it is about the message. He is correct that what we did in the 1970’s, while certainly before its time, is not what i’m advocating here. But the same problem addressed in my earlier blog, the difficulty describing what is not yet here but is likely soon — remains., My purpose is to provide you with the wherewithal to build your own wagon to travel on your own road. In a way I know I cannot describe what doesn’t yet exist except in the creative minds eye of future teachers, students and educators I have never met and may not speak my language.
Sometimes I am as surprised as any at what is behind the curtain. Here is a process we used with curious results.
The Cooperation Squares, a simple game
A fixed sized group (say 20) sits around the circle. In front of each is a manila envelope which contains various sized and shaped pieces like a jigsaw puzzle. Some fit readily together; some do not.
The directions say: make a square from your pieces.
If you are satisfied that no matter how the pieces are arranged they will never make a square, then there is nothing to do but wait til someone offers you a new piece. Or you can also look around to see what others might be helped by one of your pieces, and make them the offer.
When the game is played with special purpose there is a surreptitious lesson. The pieces are arranged in such a way that one person already has his square once he aligns the pieces correctly.
But if he refuses to offer any of his pieces, the group will never succeed in having all finish successfully. In a way it feels like a cheap trick.
But it is also about local and world economics.