Month: August 2008

Ambleside 2008 by Deani Van Pelt, Redeemer University College

Some moments are lived in slow motion.  I watched myself having one as I stepped off the train in Windermere onto the tidy platform, walk through the compact terminal, and out into the pickup area which backed onto a wall of dense forest.  To my right was a large contemporary but quaint complex which reminded me of something one might see in Banff.  I later learned this was the last large store I’d see for a week.  Slowly dragging several suitcases, one containing a printer/scanner, I hoisted my knapsack holding computer, video camera, and other recording devices, hoping to settle it more comfortably into place.  The effort was futile. Yet my elation at finally being in the Lake District of Cumbria was not dulled by excessive baggage, the exhaustion of missing a night’s sleep on the international flight, spending the last four hours on buses and trains, ever moving northward from one unknown terminal to another, or the possible disappointment of being surrounded in Banffesque-tourist-traps for the next week. The pure joy of arrival was …

The ‘Whole’ Child by Carroll Smith

I recently spent a week in Oxford at Harris Manchester College, which is one of the 39 colleges of Oxford University, UK.  The topic for this particular week of the Oxford Roundtable was children in poverty.  Dr. Petrie from the University of London gave an interesting discussion on Social Pedagogy and how the Ministry of Education in the UK is trying to look at teaching and learning currently through this lens.  What Social Pedagogy brings one to is the idea of the ‘whole’ child or ‘whole’ person.  It was an interesting and thoughtful lecture.  In the US one hears a lot about the ‘whole’ child.  For example, ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) over the last several years has created a website within its regular website expressly to provide interested parents, teachers and administrators access to the latest information on the topic of the ‘whole’ child. Listening to Dr. Petrie discuss her views on Social Pedagogy and referring several times to the ‘whole’ child, I pondered why Mason never used the term ‘whole’ child.  …

Get Out of the Way by Beth Pinckney

Probably most of us have heard of nature deficit disorder. (I hope none of you have it!)  I haven’t yet read Richard Louv’s book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder because my children have never been in danger of succumbing to this modern malady.  I will probably get around to reading it one of these days simply because I think his ideas will resonate with much of what I think and feel about getting outside.  It’s on my “to read” list. Most of us have probably also read articles or heard radio pieces about how children don’t play very much because their lives are so organized and structured.  This lack of play, researchers are “discovering” may contribute to all sorts of problems like hyperactivity, failure to develop the ability to self-regulate and develop executive function,  poor physical health, obesity, and more.  It sort of surprises me that I’ve heard so many pieces on the radio about play lately and that these items are “news”.  I guess that’s because as …