Tuesday, April 19, 2011

in the early world, elwyn s. richardson

just a few of the gorgeous image plates from "in the early world," by elwyn s. richardson

I made a remarkable pottery and craft book find this weekend browsing a neighborhood antiques store I frequent. Written in 1969, "In The Early World," by Elwyn S. Richardson is his account of teaching school children in a rural Australian school. I've read only the foreward and introduction so far, opting to flip repeatedly through the warm images of pottery, linoleum prints, and poetry by these amazing, young school children.

A few enticing tidbits I have gleaned:

"In this school too there was proper recognition of the making propensity. Homo faber and homo ludens were together in the child who thought and felt. Studies and activities grew naturally out of what preceded them. New techniques were discovered and skills practised as each achievement set new standards." In such an 'integrated curriculum the integrity of persons is preserved even more than the integrity of topics. Children recognize themselves in and through the things they make. From their paintings, their prints and their pottery they learn answers to the question "Who am I?'"

"And always the school functioned as a community, a community of artist-scientists...not in spite of but because of the individualism of its members--each person counted and was expected to make his own contribution to its life."

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