Holistic learning, continued
Yesterday, I wrote about holistic learning:
But so often, we don’t give them something whole to work with. We give them broken bits and expect them to concentrate, memorize, repeat back — even though those bits don’t have meaning. They don’t make sense. (And I mean that in the deepest sense of the phrase — they do not create real understanding.) And they are swiftly forgotten.
Imagine if you had always been given bits of clockwork to work with, but you had never seen a clock.
Would you know what you were working with? Would you care?
Project learning allows children to see the parts in context, to see how they connect, and to see the meaning that binds them together and makes them whole.
Once a child has experienced this kind of holistic learning, from then on, when she sees new bits of clockwork, she will understand they are part of something bigger. She will know that if she cares enough to investigate, there is a deeper story and complex connections to explore. She will know that understanding is there, even if she hasn’t found it yet.
Allowing children to experience slow learning — deliberately piecing together related knowledge, skills, and experiences — not only shows them how to learn, it reveals the connections and meaning that underlie everything. It shows them what there is to learn.