Friday, August 12, 2011

More Like a Park

and less like a prison

(Click on the short podcast below)


  1. The difference is that we haven't built a completely fabricated idea of what safety looks like in the park system the way we have in the schools. Once we opened that floodgate it started the flow of lawsuits and new yearly codes and rules that are always part of the first day back to school. So we find ourselves trying to stay ahead of the shady, litigious portion of the public in designing a safe space, rather than trying to stay ahead of the needs of the students in creating a space that fosters creativity and innovation.

  2. Absolutely agree John. I wrote a post yesterday about having fun and enjoyment in learning but, like you, I realised that this was unlikely to be seen in schools that treat their children in the way that you describe and avoid natural learning for a bland diet of test preparation and hem them in by numerous safety rules.

  3. Read Johan Huzinga "Homo Ludens" and follow it up with Jane McGonigal's "Reality is Broken". Kids learn more playing World of Warcraft about living and creating than they do in most schools. Play is how we learn. It is practice for life.

    Schools are designed liked prisons. Even progressive indy schools are simply "minimum security" prisons. Even student is "sentenced" to 11 years with no parole.

    If you have "good behavior" you are selected for for further education. Otherwise you are left to the trash heap.

    Join the rebellion!!

  4. Great job! addition to reporting, thanks

  5. on a computer i can't listen to the podcast John, dang. will try to catch it soon.
    per the comments.. would add - Colin Ward's the Child in the City, ..even parks can encourage routine and safety that limits creativity.
    love At Work with Thomas Edison's take on lawsuits. we spend so much time/energy/people on paper/work that represents mistrust. playing it safe, much too risky...


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