Teleological dyslexic (ceder) Sun 3 Oct 10 22:28
Naw--learnings great! Just need to find the right platform. Get a "grant" from... I forget Christofer's benefactor. But the vision was the inspiration. It's just bad teachers, cranky rules, and violence against creativity. No wonder everyone ELSE is poor . . . billy boy billy boy ...... oh where... .................................can
Eva Koleva Timothy (sees-the-day) Mon 4 Oct 10 05:17
Loved the thoughts on apprenticeship and mentoring. Its a model which has become sorely missed in our schools and often our businesses as well. Glad to hear there are many looking forward to creative journeys post-retirement. It does lead me to wonder about how much we have intertwined $$ with learning. While a good education is often an integral part of a successful career and decent standard of living, I think the greatest learning happens when we can look at life, for a moment, as if the money didnt matter. The kind of inspiration that happened during the Renaissance wasnt just an intellectual, logical pursuit towards fame and fortune. It was an emotional tide. It captured the imagination and swept over an entire continent as the world began to reveal her long held secrets. Granted that it isnt easy to get excited like that while holding down a day job, or being a parent, or after finishing a long day at school and coming home to a mountain of homework. Learning to connect the daytoday with our passions and aspirations is a creative challenge in and of itself. One of my hopes through a book like Lost in Learning is that people will come away believing its possible and engage in the emotional labor necessary to unleash their inner explorer and creator.
Lisa Harris (lrph) Mon 4 Oct 10 06:18
I had a great debate yesterday. My friend's husband and I have very different political viewpoints, however in this particular discussion we were able to firmly agree that if we spent our collective national dollar on education at home and abroad our economic problems and our international relations issues would be better served than spending that dollar on war and incarceration. I think mentorships and apprenticeships are the future. But I think I may be woefully lonely in that thinking.
. (wickett) Mon 4 Oct 10 12:14
One of the reasons that the German economy has continued to steam ahead is its sustem of educational tracks, some leading to apprenticeships. Directing students into fields that suit their interests and capacities and then supporting them as they master the requisite expertise is, I understand, highly effective there. In the US? No. How do you imagine transitioning US education and job training to that model or similar?
bill braasch (bbraasch) Mon 4 Oct 10 12:37
My high school in Chicago had shop classes, but that was rare even in the middle 1960's. It has been the company school for Pullman when the neighborhood had been a company town. By the time I graduated, they were making plans to close the shop classes and become a college prep school. John Hagel and John Seely Brown wrote a book about chinese motorcycle manufacturing, where the factories reverse engineered components to build a less expensive motorcycle for their market. The $600 motorcycle cut a few corners on things like pollution control, but the way they pulled together teams to design and build things was the interesting part of the story. Last week I read that the Chinese are starting a bunch of electric car companies, something of a learning contest to build the best car. We need to stop thinking about how to outsource that kind of creativity and find ways to bring it back into our learning system.
. (wickett) Mon 4 Oct 10 13:56
Shop classes have been chopped so heavility, I wonder if there are any left.
Lisa Harris (lrph) Mon 4 Oct 10 17:01
It's too bad. A lot of kids would stay in school, and maybe try to read the classics, if shop class were still offered.
Rip Van Winkle (keta) Mon 4 Oct 10 20:17
Just arriving to the conversation, so just point me to prior posts if this is already answered. So what is the emotional labor necessary to unleash one's inner explorer and creator?
Eva Koleva Timothy (sees-the-day) Tue 5 Oct 10 14:51
The shop talk is intriguing. While educating for manufacturing jobs that continue to shrink, doesnt make a lot of sense, I think the real treasure in there is this idea of TINKERING. Its something weve forgotten about in education, but an essential and innate part of learning. Trying something out, playing with an idea, making mistakes (lots of them) and learning every time you do. Of course were not taught to make mistakes. Were taught to avoid them at all costs and to avoid, as best we can, putting ourselves in positions where we are likely to make them. This is where emotional labor comes in. We have a lot of predispositions to safety, comfort and fear that we have to confront when we decide to become explorers. Unleashing our inner creator begins by reassessing what we believe about who we are and the value of what we have to offer. We have a gift We have an idea to fix/change/help/improve something We have a story to tell We have questions that are worth asking and seeking answers for Or consider these assumptions that often need confronting: If it isn't worth money, it isn't worth learning/doing Imagination is childish Everything important has already been discovered or created Daydreaming is a distraction from things you should be focusing on I just dont have time to focus on creative pursuits A creative mindset can require a realignment of priorities and whats truly important. This is emotional labor at its finest, pursuing our passions and learning to move beyond our comfort zones.
Lisa Harris (lrph) Wed 6 Oct 10 08:27
While our live-or-die testing has gotten a bit out of control, I don't see any evidence that creativity and discovery are dismissed. "If it isn't worth money, it isn't worth learning/doing? Can you tell us how or why you have come to this conclusion?
. (wickett) Wed 6 Oct 10 10:08
Also, the lack of skills for manufacturing jobs is part of a vicious cycle: no skills shrinks jobs, but without skills manufactury cannot expand. Both jobs and skills must expand symbiotically.
Gail Williams (gail) Wed 6 Oct 10 11:59
It seems as if there's a counter-pattern for most patterns in our world. The people who pay a lot out of pocket to learn and experience things in a hobby or recreation context are a strong counterpoint to the feeling that you have to be paid for something for it to have value. From kayaking to quilting to artisan cheese-making to poetry writing to steam punk fabrication, there is a lot of advanced learning with a tinkering component that is done for sheer joy. Some want to go pro, but many people value that the thing they love is done as a pure amateur.
Eva Koleva Timothy (sees-the-day) Wed 6 Oct 10 18:59
Gail - you're right that there are those who invest heavily in learning for the love of it and it is a great thing. It also begs the question of work vs. play. Is work what we do just so that we have leisure time? Is school something we slog through just so that we can do what we want? At some point we've all found great joy in our work and the feelings of mastery and meaning that attend tackling a challenging problem. Just a matter of brings our hearts to our work Money as a motivator on the other hand is somewhat symbolic of learning for an immediate and obvious payback (Dan Pink covers this excellently in his book Drive). The danger is when creativity loses out to a societal expectations of what is practical and important. It's the "No money in poetry and no poetry in money" idea. Poet and the author of the foreword to Lost in Learning, Ralph Windle, wrote a fantastic book of Boardroom Ballads which brings these worlds together delightfully. Is this something we can and should bridge?
Rip Van Winkle (keta) Wed 6 Oct 10 20:10
I like your putting working with beliefs and assumptions into the category of emotional labor. And I do think there need to be more bridges. It seems to me that, while it's wonderful that those learning-for-the-love-of-it people and spaces exist, there is still the teensy assumption that what they do for love in those worlds doesn't matter in the societal expectations world, and that's a shame.
Lisa Harris (lrph) Fri 8 Oct 10 12:59
Can you tell us more about SAIL? How did you come up with this? Is it part of your traveling exhibition as well, or do you only discuss it in your book?
Teleological dyslexic (ceder) Sat 9 Oct 10 13:26
<keta> it is the follow-up and the learn-a-holics like me, I think. While I am now working on a DBA from Walden U, this project will culminate with a discertation (AKA book). There are those new book writers who have inspired us (me) well-perns to think: maybe I can write a book. ;-)
Eva Koleva Timothy (sees-the-day) Sat 9 Oct 10 17:32
There are a series of thought panels which accompany the exhibit, but the monograph also travels with the works and SAIL is mostly covered there. The SAIL metaphor came while thinking about the way deep learning can often come of serendipity, taking off for a destination and finding ourselves somewhere other than where we expected (i.e. Columbus finding something quite different than India and never knowing). The S.A.I.L. acronym came later while pondering the creative process. When I begin a photographic project I always follow these basic steps, starting with a Story in mind I want to relate, searching for a meaningful Angle, Immersing myself in the subject and seeking out the Light which illuminates, clarifies, opens and solidifies my creative notions. It seems like a similar sort of process applies to journalism, music composition, writing and art generally the same as it applies to scientific inquiry, invention and entrepreneurial innovations. This strong art/science connection and the lack of a strongly defined gap between the two worlds of thought, was another interesting find in this era where natural philosophy or science was still in its infancy.
Gail Williams (gail) Tue 12 Oct 10 11:49
I love early science writing! Instead of rushing to publish some tiny factoid, early scientists were often able to explore nearly everything known so far about their area of expertise along with presenting their new observations. This also meant that amateurs were more welcome as contributors to thought. Perhaps John Muir's writings about the California Sierra Nevada are an example of a crossover with literature, to follow the art theme. Passionate love letters to the mountains, combines with interesting observations of natural phenomena. What is it like to be in a tall tree in a mountain storm? Muir had to find out and to write about it with gusto and 19th century passion, and that provided an astonishingly effective form of lobbying for preservation of wildlands in his day. Here's a paragraph of description from his observations riding out a wind storm in a tall conifer tree in order to experience the world of mountain forests: <b>" I kept my lofty perch for hours, frequently closing my eyes to enjoy the music by itself, or to feast quietly on the delicious fragrance that was streaming past. The fragrance of the woods was less marked than that produced during warm rain, when so many balsamic buds and leaves are steeped like tea; but, from the chafing of resiny branches against each other, and the incessant attrition of myriads of needles, the gale was spiced to a very tonic degree. And besides the fragrance from these local sources there were traces of scents brought from afar. For this wind came first from the sea, rubbing against its fresh, briny waves, then distilled through the redwoods, threading rich ferny gulches, and spreading itself in broad undulating currents over many a flower-enameled ridge of the coast mountains, then across the golden plains, up the purple foot-hills, and into these piny woods with the varied incense gathered by the way. " </b> From <http://www.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit/writings/the_mountains_of_californ ia/chapter_10.html> Anyway, that's the example that came to mind. That storm account is just a few enjoyable pages long -- a blend of scientific observation, literary description and adventure writing. How exciting it is to see all that merged together. What is your favorite example you have discovered of that earlier "strong art/science connection"?
Julie Sherman (julieswn) Wed 13 Oct 10 04:52
I want to thank Eva, Lisa and everyone else for an interesting conversation over the last several weeks. Now our attention in Inkwell turns to a new discussion, but this topic will remain open indefinitely into the future for more discussion.
Lisa Harris (lrph) Wed 13 Oct 10 06:34
Eva Koleva Timothy (sees-the-day) Wed 13 Oct 10 10:33
Thank you all! And thanks <Gail> for that wonderful excerpt. It paints science in a very romantic light and is a vivid reminder of why science was originally called Natural Philosophy. The striking olfactory imagery is a fantastic example of the way every sense was then engaged in trying to make sense of the natural world. What an exciting time it must have been to be seeking knowledge as the mysteries of nature began unfolding to human understanding. The crossover between logic and lyric, math and music, perception and passion is a tremendous catalyst for discovery generally. While it may make sense to divide academic disciplines and occupational functions from a research and operations perspective learning almost always happens best in the crossroads and overlaps. Divorcing art from science is a recipe for mediocrity in both realms. Celebrating Columbus Day this last week, I enjoyed reminiscing about this map maker sitting in his study and poring over texts and atlases in an effort to deduce the actual circumference of the known world. Such a calculation he hoped would support his theory of a westward passage. The thing is, if he had left it at that, a theory or conjecture void of feeling and actual exploration it would have been a footnote in history at best. Being a photographer, I think my favorite art/science connection would have to be Galileo gazing through his telescope. That sense of peering through a lens and seeing something both unexpected and awe-inspiring is a familiar one. I love that before he even started taking notes about what he was seeing, he simply tried to recreate the scene he witnesseed as a freehand sketch. He could probably have taken copious technical notes to the same effect, but there is something about the emotional impact of art, something humanistic, that is crucial our efforts to make sense of our world.
Rip Van Winkle (keta) Wed 13 Oct 10 11:20
Beautiful quote Gail, and I also want to thank you Eva. >What an exciting time it must have been to be seeking knowledge as the mysteries of nature began unfolding to human understanding. I think it's still an exciting time, with the only difference being that we're pushed now unwillingly to the threshold of new discoveries by the overwhelming pressures our species has placed on natural orders. But we have to discover to survive, and I think your insights hold a beautiful key to how we do that - by spending more time and attention and passion at the crossroads between art & science!
Rip Van Winkle (keta) Wed 13 Oct 10 11:22
Oh yes, wanted to add that a wonderful place where you can find some of the modern Muirs and Galileos is at the annual Bioneers Conference this weekend, in Marin and online. www.bioneers.org
Members: Enter the conference to participate