Month: March 2013

Observation Number 3 by Carroll and Anna Smith

My daughter, Anna and I batted around ideas about observation and why it is one of the foundational principles of a Mason education.  This blog is the result of that conversation. The past couple of blogs I have written have focused on the practice of observation as key to a Mason paradigm.  The first engaged with the organic nature of observing on a farm.  The second considered a few ideas regarding nature study and observation in an urban setting.  This blog is part 1 of 2 that continues to explore observation as a key component of a Mason educational paradigm.  In today’s writing, I explore the nature of ‘observation‘ as defined by Mason.  In Part 2, I build on that exploration to consider the implications of that understanding of ‘observation’ in an educational paradigm.  Unusual though it may seem, today’s blog does not mention the classroom at all – and barely mentions children.  Today’s blog lays the philosophical foundation upon which in Part 2 we consider the concrete building blocks of Mason’s educational paradigm. Let …

Nature Study in the City by Carroll Smith

The focus of my last blog began with the importance of observation in the Mason educational paradigm.  However, it quickly evolved into the natural, organic way that observation can occur while growing up on a farm.  Eventually, I would like to get back to the topic of the power of observation and why it is so crucial in the Mason paradigm, but first I think it would be helpful to respond to some of the comments that were posted by readers of my previous post. First, let me say how much I appreciate those comments and how helpful it is to all of us that people are willing to post them.  I think it is particularly helpful when individuals mention concerns or problems they are having that we can all respond to.  It can sometimes feel easier to refrain from commenting out of fear that other people will think that we are not “Mason” enough, but that shuts down the conversation.  I do not have all the answers.  I don’t even know all the questions.  …