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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: May 19, 2006
Latest Update: May 19, 2006

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Index of Topics on Site Let It Happen, as Montessori Might Have Said

When we spend our time on collaborative exploring and creating, stuff just happens. Yes, we need theory. Yes, we need facts. But, my goodness, what good are we if we don't know what to do with them to make this a better world for us and our kids?

I couldn't wait to put up for you these messages from Star, Message No. 13491:

"Hi Jeanne,

I sent this email to Pat 2-3 weeks ago, before I realized it would qualify as community work. Pat suggested I put it on Transform-dom.

I guess it was two to three weeks ago, I came home from class quite excited about the card that Aaron helped me to make in class. I showed my card to you Jeanne in class, and you said the next step was to put a message on it, which I thought about all the way home. When I got home I couldn't wait to show my husband what I'd done. My husband's name is T. T looked at me rather strangely and asked, "What are you doing in that class? school crafts?" Well, I don't remember doing anything so sophisticated as this when I was a kid, but...oh well. So, I explained to T about the class. I told him about illocutionary discourse, pejorative words, emotional intelligence, your teaching style,true learning, dearhabermas, your artwork, visual sociology, long wall jobs (he really liked that one!), etc.

T was really interested, because he saw something alive in my expression as I was explaining all this to him. He helped me make some more cards, not quite as sophisticated as the one Aaron helped me make! We wrote on the cards in gold ink, "Be smart, never let strangers start", and "S.A.F.E." S.A.F.E. was T's idea. It means STOP (don't go to that stranger), AWARE (be aware), FIGHT (kick, scream, yell, bite), EXPRESS (tell an adult what happened immediately).

I got the idea to put a card in my nephews lunch box. Some how the card got to one of the teachers, who I understand liked the card idea and is planning to have her students do the message cards as a craft project. My nephew will let me know when, and my husband and I are invited to help the kids make the cards that day. My nephew is really excited about us coming to class! Who knows where this will lead.

The cards are an effective way to continue parental training outside of the home for elementary school age kids. I think a message as important as this should be heard in surround sound. It may help children to protect themselves if ever faced with the challenge. It is good for kids to feel powerful and engaged. A message card like this gives them tools they need to empower themselves.

I saw this in action when I discussed the card with my nephew. Although his mom had already discussed 'strangers' with him, it made an impression on my nephew when I put him on my knee and we talked about what S.A.F.E. means. This is what I will be doing when I help the class make the cards soon. Visual sociology at work empowering kids!

--Star :)

Discussion Questions

  1. Can you understand now why people think we're playing with crafts? Do they take the time for illocutionary discourse?

    Consider what T said. T, what do we do about that? Maybe we should give a little more credit to all those "frivolous" luxuries, like art and music, in school, hmmm? I hope this is a better solution. But, then, I'm an artist. jeanne

  2. If I had given an assignment to go to your local school and sell them this project, would it have felt the same?

    How do we measure the joy of putting in the card in your nephew's lunch box and watching enthusiasm grow from there?

  3. Star, you can have an A in the course for this. What matters? What you discovered? or the grade? Which will you remember about your college experience one day?

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