“All that is implicit cannot be made explicit”
Dunstan Martin: “Shadows in the Cave”
We have many more ways of knowing than are open to the intellect; try skiing with your brain; listen to someone play Beethoven with technical proficiency, but without soul…
I come back to this question of soul: we lose touch with our very nature if we reduce everything to the explicit. We try more and more to explain, order, control; we move out of time, not into it and we become stressed and unhappy and we do not know why.
Intuition, instinct: magic. Words for our capacity to relate to the world ontologically, through all our senses. I can neither cook, nor teach, to a formula; It is more like surfing than anything else – feeling the wave, the body: going with it.
It is raining today; the students were subdued and they did not seem happy. I through my prepared lesson in the bin and let them work; they have a structure; a project to finish for next week and a list of stages to go through. I wrote on the board:
• What is the aim of this project? Why are we doing it?
• How can you do it well so that you feel satisfied with it? What are your criteria of evaluation? Are they the same as the teacher’s?
• What existing examples can you find of this sort of work that are good?
• Why are they good? Analyse them!
Now they are working – they are communicating, sharing and they are involved. Arriving at this involvement is the difficult part (and I don’t pretend that I always manage it) afterwards it is sufficient to get out of the way and to keep learning keep your enthusiasm that will provide the example.
Understanding takes time and presence. It takes listening and watching. To our reactions to situations as well as the situations themselves.
It takes allowing ourselves, and our students, to be.