Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
- William Butler Yeats (Poet, Nobel Prize for Literature 1923)
Back in February, I briefly mentioned the Learning Hierarchy I had to create. I have continued to give it thought, and I've added to (and taken away from) it, however, it is still very much a work in progress.
This is My Learning Hierarchy.
My inspirations include:
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs,
Dr. William Glasser's Choice Theory,
and my own experiences caring for and working with children.
Stick Person Design - I am a stick-person artist, I enjoy their simple form, and often use them to illustrate difficult concepts.
The Head contains Self and Safety - The head, where the brain is located, the epicenter of our nervous systems, our thoughts, and the computer of our bodies. Where we process learning, where all thoughts, worries, and feelings originate. Learning, Comprehension, and True Understanding do not have a chance when Self and Safety are not maintained.
Self - Self concept, self-worth and self-value start to develop during early childhood and never stop. It includes the attributes, abilities, values, perspectives, beliefs, inner thoughts, and attitudes that make up what defines a person as "me."
Safety - In order for learning and understanding to take place, people need to know they are in a safe environment, That they are cared for, and secure. Dr. Glasser calls this "Survival," and Maslow refers to it as "Physiological Needs" and "Safety Needs."
The Shoulders bear Community - I am a strong proponent of the old adage 'It takes a village to raise a child." That village, the community surrounding each of us can be an incredible support structure (not unlike our shoulders supporting our frames, neck, and head), or it can bear down and sap our strength. Sometimes we can choose our community, and other times it is forced upon us.
Community - Human beings are residents of the world. Children need to understand their place in the world, and know how to exist in the world. Community is also about belonging where you are, and being respectful of your surroundings. It is about discovering that there are different kinds of communities: classroom, school, neighborhood, city/town/village, state, country, global, interest group, website, etc.
The Arms are comprised of Family & Friends - Arms can move, independently of each other, but they are supported to an extent, by the shoulders. While a person can survive with only one arm, or no arms, it is difficult and struggles are plentiful, the same can be said for lack of family and/or friends.
Family - Parents and caregivers do the best they can with what they have. Family forms all the first things in a child's life. Family is the biggest suitcase we drag around, for better or worse, and there are always hidden pockets other people never see.
Friends - The people with whom a person chooses to share time, feelings, life, and activities. In school it is often simply classmates with whom enjoyment is found playing or working alongside. Typically, the closest friends are people with whom a person has conquered an obstacle or overcome conflict with to form a bond. Having a friend or multiple friends is a valuable tenet.
The Trunk of the body is Character - The trunk of the body covered by clothing, the location of the backbone, and the heart and support of the entire body.
Character - Character is what you do, not what you say. Knowing right from wrong. Thinking about the consequences of your actions. Standing up for what is right, and true, and good. Having Courage and Humility, Wisdom and Justice. Empathy and Loyalty, Honesty and Fortitude.
Lastly, the Legs are formed by Choices and Fun - Legs are what carry us to our destinations. Sometimes they run, sometimes they trip, sometimes they are knocked from us and we crash to the ground. Our Choices about life and our Pursuit of fun are the same way.
Choices - Everything in life has at least one choice. Black or White; Right or Left; Up or Down; Jacket or Sweater; Shorts or Snowpants; Love or Hate; What should we have for dinner? Where do you want to go? When do you want to do that? and so on. Children need a chance to be confident in decision-making. They also should learn that every action has a consequence –some consequences are pleasant while others are just plain awful, but every action has them, even when we choose not to do something, or when a choice is taken away from us.
Fun - What is the point of life without fun? Human beings, especially children need enjoyment, laughter, silliness, and fun to experience a full life.