5TH CITY PRESCH00LING INSTITUTE:
AN EXPERIMENT IN EARLY EDUCATION
Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION
Chapter 2 GOALS
Chapter 3 IMAGINAL EDUCATION
Chapter 4 CURRICULUM AREAS
Chapter 5 TIME AND SPACE
Chapter 6 METHODS EXPERIMENT
Chapter 7 TOOLS EXPERIMENT
Chapter 8 CURRICULUM EVENTS
Chapter 9 UR IMAGES
Chapter 10 RESPONSIBLE CHILDREN
Chapter 11 CORPORATE STAFF
Chapter 12 CONCLUSION
P R E F A C E
This book is intended to be a preliminary edition of a
book that will later serve as the introductory manual to the Fifth City
Preschooling Institute. This present edition will outline the curriculum
rationale, teaching methods, and education style of the Preschool as well
as mentioning the comprehensive community reformation context of which
the Preschool is only one part.
The preliminary nature of this edition implies that one
can expect that there will be further development of the preschool, especially
in its curriculum rationale. However, the fundamental principles of imaginal
education, of the art form methodology, and of curriculum event planning,
will not change significantly. In fact these basic educational methodologies
are applicable for all ages of children and adults. Persons engaged in
teaching public school, church school or adult curriculum will find this
FIFTH CITY PRESCHOOLING INSTITUTE STAFF
ECUMENICAL INSTITUTE STAFF
MARCHING SONG OF THE IRON MEN
Tune: The Battle Hymn of the Republic
Deep within the hearts of Black Hen
Charred by bitterness and pain,
By three hundred years of slavery,
Of injustice, fear, and shame,
Burns the spark of human dignity
Which history will claim
An the destiny of man.
Hen of iron, we stand together;
Men of iron, we stand together;
Men of iron, we stand together
For the dignity of man.
From the blackness of the West Side
Now the spark bursts into flame,
Rushing outward from Fifth City,
From Chicago whence it came;
Spreading forth to every city,
Every nation to proclaim
The dignity of man.
See the vision of a life style
Stretch before the eyes of man,
From Brazil, to France to China,
From the Congo to Iran,
Where all men can live in freedom,
Claim their power and their plan,
Full humanness for all.
1. We stand at a time in human history when the future
of mankind literally hinges on the decision of local man. He can sit by
or angrily shake his fist as civilization collapses into technocracy and
anarchy or he can join with others in a common effort to create new social
forms to give shape and direction to the resurgence of humanness also evident
2. Fifth City, a community in reformulation on Chicago's
West Side, is a concrete sign of resurgence. It is a community, recently
expanded to include 20,000 people, which is engaged in creating the new
or decisional city within the inner city. The presuppositions that undergird
the reformulation are that all the problems of all the people within the
delimited geographic area of 5th City will be simultaneously attacked and
that the depth human problem, which manifests itself in the residents of
the inner city experiencing themselves as powerless within society, will
be overcome by the use of symbols of hope and possibility.
3. The three master strategies of contextual reeducation,
structural reformulation and spirit remotivation are embodied in the social
model, built eight years ago in the community and designed to eventually
care for every human being within the community in all dimensions of life
economic, political, and cultural. The model calls for the creation
of twenty interrelated structures and eighty agencies. (See 5TH CITY SOCIAL
4. Although this document will deal directly with only
one of these structures, the Community Preschooling Institute, it must
be noted that the Preschool's significance in history is in its interrelation
with the other structures as they work together to demonstrate to the world
that new human community is a concrete possibility.
5. It is in this context that we discuss the Preschool program as a demonstration of Imaginal Education which has as its focus the creation of new human beings who are unique creative individuals sharing in the responsible molding of the future of all mankind.
WHEN IRON MEN GO MARCHING IN
Tune: When The Saints Go Marching In
When Iron Men go marching in,
When Iron Men go marching in;
There'll be a new day tomorrow,
When Iron Men go marching in.
When City Five has come alive,
When City Five has come alive,
There'll be a new day tomorrow,
When City Five has come alive.
O, when the trend begins to bend,
O, when the trend begins to bend;
There'll be a new day tomorrow,
When the trend begins to bend.
O, when the world picks up the sign, O, when the world
picks up the sign, There'll be a new day tomorrow, When the world picks
up the sign.
For Iron Men it's never done, For Iron Men it's never done;
There'll be a new day tomorrow, When Iron Men go marching
For Iron Men it's just begun, For Iron Men it's just begun;
There'll be a new day tomorrow, When Iron Men go marching in.
|1. The goals of the Fifth City Preschool are the response to the question: "What does every child need to know or experience in order to live effectively in society now and be prepared to creatively participate in the 20th and 21st Centuries?" They presuppose a future in which social processes increase in complexity, change occurs more and more rapidly and global inter-relatedness concretely permeates every facet of society. In the midst of such complexity, the future of mankind will depend on the corporate activity of creative individuals with a concrete vision of and plan for society. Consequently, what every child needs is the broadest possible understanding of the world in which he lives, an image of himself as a unique creative thrust in history, the "tools" for operating in society to bring about necessary change, and the freedom to use his selfhood and all he knows to take responsibility for himself and society.|
|INDIVIDUAL CREATIVITY||3. The image or picture that a person has of himself within society determines his participation in life. The role of the Preschool is to help each child to affirm his own unique gifts and to see that his life, as a creative bundle of energy, is a crucial life that affects all about him and the direction of history. Necessary to such a positive selfimage is the increase of the child's selfconsciousness about his own internal responses, their external manifestations and how they affect others. It is also necessary to give him the tools of rational thinking and communicating and to care for his own physical wellbeing.|
|4. The significance of individual lives contribute to the historical process of civilization only as they relate to other lives through the social forms that mankind has created. Great thoughts or visions matter only when they are manifested in human structures or style and made available concretely to other men. Therefore it is a goal of the Preschool to give the children the tools not only to think but to put thoughts into action. This involves problemsolving skills including the ability to analyze the given situation in the light of the need, set goals, see what stands in the way of their realization and build the tactical model that will remove the block and accomplish the goal.|
|UNREPEATABLE LIFE||5. At a level deeper than any intellectual or social skill lies an individual's decision to relate to his life as an adventure to be experienced and used in its fullness for the sake of all that is rather than as an enemy to be hidden from, subdued or reduced to selfsatisfaction. The role that education can play in relationship to this decision is to offer to an individual the possibility of seeing his life as it really is a limited, yet unconquerable, unit of energy in a historylong, worldwide journey of man to probe ever deeper into the mystery of the universe and the consciousness of man.|
I'm the greatest, you're the greatest;
That's the way life is.
When you know it, when you show it,
You are free to live.
I'm a Black Man, you're a White Man,
That's the way life is.
When you see it, when you be it,
You are free to live.
|2. This picture or "image," as Kenneth Boulding calls it, is made up of many smaller images out of which he operates from day to day, and which constantly changes as he makes decisions each day in response to his situation. These images fill the gap between the idea he has about something and the actual situation. While he may have rational clarity about his ideas, a person is seldom self-conscious of the image out of which he is operating. The task of imaginal education is to work with these basic operating images rather than merely with ideas or information.|
|3. Imaginal education, as developed by the staff of the Ecumenical Institute, is the process by which messages are intentionally directed to a person's images in order to give the opportunity for a change of image. Messages, the ideas and data which one receives, can have various effects on the image. First, the message may "pass through" the image leaving it untouched, as when a person blocks out the noise of children playing outdoors. Second, it may add new data to the image, again leaving it untouched, as when a person learns that the exact temperature is 25 degrees Fahrenheit after he had already known that he was cold. Or, third, the message may conflict with the present image, and be resisted, unless the message is strong enough to penetrate this resistance, in which case education, that is, a "revolutionary" change in the image, takes place. For example, a man may receive the message that his best friend is a thief, and refuse to believe it. However, if enough similar messages come from enough different sources, he begins to doubt and finally changes his image of his friend.|
|4. Imaginal education has several basic presuppositions. First, every person operates out of images. Second, these images determine his behavior. Third, these images can change, through the person's own decision, after the impact of messages which cause his former image to be called into question. Fourth, the teacher can discern what images a student is operating out of. The imaginal educator creates messages which give a person an opportunity to change his image. However, change finally remains within the decisional realm of the student; the teacher cannot force an image change, but can only send messages. Because a student's images are finally beyond the teacher's control, the teacher is released to build a model for what he sees as a desirable change in the student.|
|6. Imaginal education understands a human being as a whole unit and is an attempt to change that whole through selfconscious and intentional use of messages. Students, even at preschool age, participate fully in life, with all the pain, insecurity, joy, and anxiety of what it means to be human. They do not sit back and observe life during school. Rather they participate in it at all times. The songs, rituals, and short courses used in the 5th City Preschool are an example of the message used to create the image of greatness and the power of decision. The symbol of the Iron Man is also designed to accomplish this imaginal shift. Imaginal education curriculum reveals and names the objective situation and raises the life question, which allows a new decision. A twoyearold child may operate out of the image that life should be happy. He falls down and hurts himself. Curriculum events and short courses tell him that everyone gets hurt in life, that life is not always happy. He then has the possibility of seeing that his past image was inadequate, and of recreating the world in the context of the new impingement.|
7. Imaginal education is the human method because it allows one to go through a journey of consciousness relative to his situation and his life and finally make a decision about his life. Soren Kierkegeard outlines this journey in terms of man's three levels of reflection. He indicates that man is a bundle of objective and subjective relationshipsa father, a husband, a brother, a carpenter, a friendall at the same time. Man makes an immediate emotional response as he is conscious of his particular situation, which is the first level of reflection. He is capable not only of relating to his immediate situation, but of taking a conscious relationship to his own responses, thus choosing the appropriate action. This decision is the second level of reflection. And man can go a step further by reflecting even on this decision and can decide whether or not he wills to be the self who decided to respond the way he did. This is the third level of reflection, and Kierkegeard claims that when a person thus wills to be his self, authentic selfhood takes place. The test of the art form method is to give the student the opportunity to decide selfconsciously who he is going to be and how he is going to relate to his own life.
|8. The method used for the intentional structuring of a person's response to the messages he receives is called the art form method. It is not an artificial imposition but rather a selfconscious ordering of the way life comes to every man. The art form method is contentless in that it can be applied to any situation through asking questions at four levels, the objective, the reflective, the interpretive and the decisional. At the objective level the intent is simply to see what the data is, what is present in the objective situation. At the reflective level becoming aware of each person's subjective response to the situation is the goal. The next step, the interpretive, is to consider the meaning and purpose of the situation and what would be an adequate statement or response to the situation. Finally, one must make a decision about how he is going to relate to the situation and to himself in that situation.|
2. What colors do you see?
|REFLECTIYE||3. What color would you add?
4. Where would you add it?
|INTERPRETIVE||5. What is going on in the painting?
6. What story would you tell about it?
|DECISIONAL||7. What would you name it?|
|10. This method, a life method, is also the method used to help the children become aware of and decide about their practical situations. For example, a child has been bitten by another and is crying. The teacher asks, "What happened?" as an objective question. If the child is not verbal, the teacher can answer the question himself, "Johnny bit you, didn't he?" Then the teacher asks a reflective question which reveals to the child how he feels, "Does it hurt?" or "Did it make you mad?" The next level, the interpretive, would life up the child's response in the situation, and the teacher might ask (depending on how the event has unfolded), "You hit him with a block, didn't you?" or "What are you going to do? Are you going to cry, or hit him, or just go back to playing?" The fourth level occurs when the child selfconsciously decides to be the self who decided one way or the other. The use of such questions helps the student on his journey of consciousness and helps to relieve his being a victim to his external situation by offering him the possibility to make a new decision .|
|11. In imaginal education, then, there is one thing to be "taught," and that is that in the midst of a person's given situation he can decide to live that situation, affirming it and himself in it. This is not an abstract statement or idea, however, but a method, the human, of living one's life. It is finally the only thing to be taught, and can be taught in any subject or situation. Therefore, imaginal education is contentless, in that it has no specific content, but takes its content from the situation. The intent of a curriculum event on any topic, then, is not to teach anything but the human dynamic of that topic. Even in a subject as basic as word symbols, the aim is more than that the children learn words, but that they grasp symbolmaking as a method with which they can decisionally relate themselves to the given world. That is, within the world as given, they can grasp their possibilities and decide about their lives through the use of word symbols. When a child has learned that he can name the things in the world around him, sometimes the unique names he has given them, he has learned more than names. He has learned that he can decide about his world and creatively live his life in it.|
|12. Because there is no specific content to which imaginal education or the art form method can be limited, it can be taught through any curriculum. This also means, however, that the curriculum rationale must take into account all of human wisdom and experience, for nothing is excluded. Such a comprehensive curriculum is a presupposition of any use of this method, or imaginal education requires comprehensiveness in order to be imaginal education in the classroom.|
|13. In the 20th Century, there is no reason why every child in the globe cannot have quality education, although there will never be the space or equipment available that some would suggest are necessary to do this job. In the 5th City Preschool, when faced with the limitation of space, virtually no equipment, and a very high child/ teacher ratio, the staff found that not only was it possible to teach in that situation, but also exciting. If the purpose of education is to prepare children to live in the world as it really is, it makes little sense to place children who are daily exposed to the vitality of an urban setting into a classroom where they confront onlyone teacher and a few peers. What they experience in such a situation is not true to the way they experience life. The creativity that breaks loose with mass education, using imaginal education methods and tools, is ideal for preparing children for the complexity and fascination of an expanding globe.|
FOR THE GLOBE
|14. For those who look beyond their own classroom toward the possibility of educating the entire globe, imaginal education is the mass education tool and the method of the future.|
ONE YEAR CURRICULUM CONSTRUCT
Tune: Three Blind Mice
We live in the universe,
We live in the universe,
On the planet earth
On the planet earth
We look for life in the sky so blue
And down in the ocean for something new,
Look at the world we have on our hands!
What shall we do?
What shall we do?
|1. The curriculum of the 5th City Preschool attempts to deal with the total life experience of the child and consists of four main arenas which are based on ways of experiencing life: a) the basic skills man has developed to give form to his experience math, language, reading, and writing, b)man's sociality in the midst of the economic, political, and cultural aspects of life, c) his individual drives and responses to life, and d) his decisional relationships to his total life. These four contentless arenas, Basic, Relational, Psychological, and Imaginal, are rehearsed every daJ, in the above order, and the content of each comes from a yearly curriculum rationale created by the staff and covering a comprehensive selection of material.|
|BASIC||2. The Basic area deals with the symbol systems which man has developed. It is through the symbols of math and language in all their forms that man has organized, added to and passed on his knowledge about himself and his world. The curriculum construct talks about this area in terms of Recognition, Reproduction, and Relationship. The recognition of symbols brings to selfconsciousness that which one knows; the ability to reproduce them gives form to ideas and allows communication with others; and the ability to discern relationships between them creates a context out of which new ideas emerge. At the preschool age this symbol system is dealt with at its most fundamental level that of objectively impacting the children with objects, concepts, and experiences, then naming them and relating them to spoken and written symbols. The degree of abstraction increases with age. For instance, if the concept being taught were "gravity", the infants would watch released objects fall to the ground and hear the terms "fall" and "down". Mini schoolers, in addition, might jump off a step, drop objects, be shown the words as they are said and be asked to repeat them. Prep school (three and four year olds) might be called to selfconsciousness of the force of gravity when they are asked by the teacher to jump into the air and stay there. The term "force", an abstract concept could then begin to take on meaning for them. Kinderschoolers, after experiencing the force of gravity might be exposed to the idea that the mass of the earth pulls matter toward its center and that that pull is called "gravity".|
|3. In the Basic area the child is trained in mathematics through exposure to spatial relations, patterns, onetoone relationships, counting, sets, numerals and other fundamental mathematical concepts. Reading readiness skills, to right progression, similarities and differences expansion, and phonics are used as well as early procedures. Visual perception, manual dexterity recognition and reproduction begin the writing p language is called forth in songs, rituals, disc games, and conversation. This curriculum portion where the child is trained to think logically an the communication symbols.|
|RELATIONAL||4. The Relational curriculum deals with the child's relationships to his family, community, city, nation, world, and universe as one who is an economic, political, and cultural human being. The economic process is that social process by which society provides for its actual physical existence. Without it there would be no political or cultural development. The economic process sustains individual life, the life of each society, and of mankind as a whole. It calls for social organization and provides for fundamental areas around which men create their common understanding. In every human society, the political process comprises the activities of structuring the given raw power, or order; implementing the will of the people, or justice; and serving the corporate wellbeing, or welfare. The cultural process is the rational pole of the social process. It injects meaning into life and thereby gives significance to all the aspects of society. It is on the basis of man's wisdom, style and symbols that every political decision is made and every economic product distributed.|
|5. In the Relational area the child is made aware of his relatedness through events, discussion and art activity that hold him before his reality in life. For example, in the area of the economic the class might take a trip to a farm and watch cows being milked, or to a factory where coke bottles are being filled and talk about the work involved, the process of distribution, the need for money to buy the product etc. One way of talking about the political process might be to use puppets and act out the different ways that decisions are made in the family and the different roles that the family members, particularly the child, play. To bring selfconsciousness to the cultural arena the teacher might act out the style of the particular neighborhood that t}c children live in and have visitors from other countries come in to demonstrate styles of dress, language, eating, movement etc. The children might then use clay to model several of these styles followed by placing them on a global grid or a map to demonstrate the great variety of cultures in the world.|
|PSYCH0LOGICAL||6. In the Psychological area of the curriculum, the individual response of the child is brought to consciousness. He becomes aware of himself as a biological being with physical needs and drives, a social being who exists in the midst of a multiplicity of relationships to which he responds, and a rational being who desires to know who he is and what the meaning of his existence is. This is the area where the solitary response of the child is emphasized and affirmed; this is the area where the creative thrust of the child to know and understand, to do and create, to be and relate is acknowledged and reflected upon.|
|7. The Psychological curriculum block is immediately after nap every day, a time when the child is in a quiet and reflective mood, and experiencing himself as a solitary being with many situations to which he must respond. The curriculum, using the tools of poetry, dance, and art, allows the child to reflect upon himself as a solitary being and his responses to his many situations, and gives him a way to begin to articulate his experience. A curriculum event in the biological area might be centered around potty training, particularly for the two year olds. An event in the social area might begin to focus on the emotions such as anger and joy which a child experiences while playing with his friends. In the arena of the rational an event might be centered around the questions a child asks about who he is, why he is big or small, or black or white, why his dog died etc. This is the area where the child deals directly with his own, most personal response to life.|
|IMAGINAL||8. In the Imaginal area of the curriculum the focus is on the relationship of the child to his limits, to his possibilities, and to his freedom to make decisions. Although the "imaginal" area is the basis of the whole preschool program and runs through all the curriculum blocks, the songs, and the rituals, it is at this time of the day each day that the imaginal emphasis is intensified in a curriculum event.|
Tune: Old McDonald Had a Farm
I am always falling down, (limits)
But I know what I can do,
I can pick myself up and say to myself (possibility)
I'm the greatest too.
It doesn't matter if I'm big or small
I live now if I live at all
I am always falling down
But I know what I can do,
I can pick myself up and say to myself
"I'm the greatest too!"
TIME AND SPACE
I LOVE FIFTH CITY
Tune: I Love the Flowers
I love Fifth City.
I love the planet Earth.
I love this day and time,
I love the universe.
I'm always ready to see this
world of ours.
I tell you man I like it here,
I tell you man I like it here. Yeah'
TIME AND SPACE
MAN ' S
|1. Research in education has made it clear that a person's total environment educates him. Therefore, it is crucial to look intensively at the use of time and space as these are fundamental to a man's environment. Every man exists in time and space, that is, every man shows up in a particular era, generation, year, and day; and he shows up in a particular world, nation, city, and community. To a large extent this environment determines who he is a 20th century western man is a different person than a 13th century western man and a 20th century western man is not the same as a 20th century easterner. Man also creates his time and space. He is no longer ruled by the sunrise and sunset, but can be seen at study, work, and play at any time of the day or night. Underground shopping centers, high-rises, and highways through mountains show man's ability to manipulate space. Understanding the flexibility of time and space, one can intentionally create his time design and his special design to tell the story that he wants to tell. This chapter will talk specifically about how this is done in the Preschool.|
2. The Preschool has created a time design for the children which is based upon research done by Piaget on the mood and rhythm of a child's day. The time design gives form to this natural pattern. The first part of the day a child is alert, fairly calm and able to concentrate on developing skills; therefore the Basic Curriculum with mathematics, reading, writing and language is taught then. After this the children have been with the class long enough to be responding to other members of the group. The Relational Curriculum deals particularly with this arena and shows up on the time design here. The Psychological Curriculum is taught after nap time when a child is coming out of the solitariness of sleep and is experiencing reflection on his own experience of and relationship to life. At the end of the school day, the Imaginal Curriculum is taught, reminding the child that as both a social being and a reflective, self-conscious person he has the possibility and responsibility of affirming his situation and saying "yes" to his day.
3. Critical to the time design is a balance between individual and group activities and between active and quiet activities. The four curriculum areas place order or intentionality on the child's own time design. Basic, Relational, Psychological, and Imaginal periods of the day allow the child to actively participate in a corporate body. The daily rhythm, however, is also marked by quiet times and individual time. Snack, lunch and nap are quiet reflective periods for the children, and Calimaginal, or creative play time, allows the individual to design his own use of time.
|4. This time design as described above is the regular time design which is varied slightly for the different age groups. Because the fiveyearolds go to public school half a day, they go through the whole rhythm time design in half a day. This time organization provides continuity and order for the children so that within this skeletal structure wild creativity can take place. In addition to this regular schedule, discontinuous time, a very important part of the preschool, happens in the form of movies, trips to many places, walks in the community, and celebrations. It provides opportunity to engage in intensified learning experiences. Discontinuity also encourages reflection, allowing a return to normal activities with renewed energy and decision.|
|5. Every teacher uses rituals to mark the beginning of the day and the transitions from one event to another, even if it is only straightening the stack of papers on the desk or saying, "All right, class, let's begin." This punctuation is made selfconscious in the Fifth City Preschool. The children all participate in a ritual which symbolizes the beginning of the day and honors each child by name in the song. The other rituals throughout the day not only mark transitions but also embody the imaginal education goals of the preschool, such as "Life is Good," or "We are going to bend history."|
|TIME AND SPACE
This is the drum of the city
This is the drum of the city.
It says to us that we can live.
Let's be the drum of the city. Yeah!
|(this chant is an affirmation of the city)|
Tune: This Land Is Your Land
We are the Black Man.
We are the Red Man.
We are the Brown Man.
We are the Yellow Man.
We are the Tan Man.
We are the White Man.
This is the land for you and me.
Black Man! Red Man! Brown Man! Yellow Man!
Tan Man! White Man! Universe Man!
|(Calls forth the recognition of globality)|
|WE ARE HERE
Tune: Waltzing Matilda
We are here in Fifth City Preschool
Out in Chicago West
We sing our song
To greet each brand new day
We dream our dreams
And we dance our Yes.
THIS IS THE DAY
This is the day we have
This is the day we have.
We can live this day,
Or throw it away.
This is the day we have
So. let's nick un this day and live.
|(Locates the very particular situation in space.)
(Locates our particular situation in time.)
|GOOD MORNING, EVERYBODY
Good doming, everybody.
Good morning, everybody.
Good morning, everybody.
We are glad to see you.
(leader) What is your name?
(student) My name is John...
|(this ritual affirms individual by calling for decision to be his greatness)|
B. TRANSITIONAL RITUALS
MEAL OPENING RITUAL
Food is Good. Right? Right!
Life is Good. Right? Right!
All is Good. Right? Right!
What do you say? It's OK.
What do you say? It's OK.
What do you say? It's OK.
MEAL CLOSING RITUAL
Who are you? I'm the greatest.
Where do you live? In the universe
Where are you going? To bend history.
No more bread and butter
No more food to eat.
Let's all close our eyes now
And go to sleep.
DRUMS ( see above)
CHICAGO IS A WONDERFUL PLACE
Tune: Washington Square
Chicago is a wonderful place,
The West Side's where we live;
Chicago is a wonderful place,
The West Side's where we live.
So sing all you people
Life is here to love;
So sing all you people,
Life is here to live. (repeat)
(a secular prayer of thanksgiving)
(rehearsal of one's possibility)
(articulates that taking a nap requires a decision)
(affirms the city as the place where 1ife is acted out.)
We'll see you Tuesday morning.
|(allows everyone to be sent out as one body)|
|TIME AND SPACE
|6. Integrally related to the use of time is the space design. The classroom is not static room but is a certain amount of space which may be altered and redefined as needed. Space created intentionally and comprehensively tells the child what kind of situation he has entered. For example, a room with table and chairs in one corner, blocks and toys in another, dressup clothes in another, and books in another tells a child that many activities will be taking place that day and where they will be happening. But if one day all of these objects are covered with bright cloths, pictures of South America are decorating the room, pinatas are hanging and Latin music is playing, the child knows something else is going to be happening. He will be celebrating the red man that day. Flexibility is key in creating intrigue and anticipation. The only limit is the teacher's willingness to experiment with arrangement and decor to create a universe of encounters for the child. It is helpful for the teacher to create a comprehensive rationale for his spatial design in order to include all the possibilities open to him. He might, for example, arrange the room with a different space and decor for each of the four curriculum blocks, basic, relational, psychological, and imaginal, and then change these every quarter. He also could decide on an area of the globe for decoring the halls and bathrooms, perhaps changing this every month.|
|7. Multiple use of space allows for many educational possibilities in the classroom. Crawling under the table into a suitcase or standing on top of it and using it as a stage explodes the child's image of space. The tables make a great truck, or a school bus or a bed. Rearranging coat cubbies makes instant rocket ships, trains, or rooms. Turning the lights out makes the whole room a large cave, or a planetarium. Moving all the furniture to one side of the room creates a ballroom, or an ice skating rink, or a parking lot, or a battle field. Different areas can be allocated for different activities, and can be made by altering the arrangement of tables, toy shelves, and other furniture or the creative use of cloths. New space can be instantaneously created by moving the class outdoors to a playlot, steps, sidewalk, hill, or by moving to relatively unused areas of the building, such as stair landings, hallways, or meeting rooms. The given space can be totally reimaged with such techniques as drawing a circle on the floor for everyone to sit inside, holding an event under the table, or having everyone stand on their chairs.|
|TIME AND SPACE
|8. Intentional use of decor, as mentioned above, creates the space. It also serves to set a context for the child holding him before the local and the global, the past and the future. Photographs of the community he lives in, a globe, posters of famous men from the past, and space mobiles are some ways of doing this. The more a child is intentionally impacted by his surroundings, the more he is learning. It is crucial to arrange the space and decor with careful aesthetic taste and to continually repair frayed edges and falling pieces for, in addition to time, it is the space that creates a sense of order and a sense of identity. Thus it is helpful to have some decor that does not change (perhaps a world grid and a local symbol) to provide continuity in the child's universe. Then one has a rationale for changing the rest of the decor so as to give the child new images and to keep his world ever changing and expanding as. in fact, the world does.|
|9. The integration of time and space designs
can be seen in following the fouryearolds through a typical day.
8:009:00 Calimaginal Time
The children, free to use any part of the room, build with blocks, draw on the chalkboard, have a "tea party" and make a train with their chairs.
9:009:10 Opening Ritual
After putting toys away the children gather at the table for the "Drums of the City" ending with singing
a roll call.
9:109:45 Basic Curriculum
The basic skills are developed through rhyming games, matching objects on the table with similar objects in the room, organizing the students into human "sets" and draw ing sets onto the sides of boxes which are put into the block corner for play later.
As the children go to the bathroom singing a marching song, they pass Fifth City and global decor in the halls and see a montage of people eating, washing and brushing teeth as they wash their hands. On the way out a mural and a sign reminds them that they are the "greatest."
As the children eat their snack at the table after having said the ritual, they listen to electronic music and look at pictures on the wall of machines, in preparation for the next curriculum event.
10:15-11:00 Relational Curriculum
For this event the children move to the sidewalk where they watch cars and trucks going by, listen to a car engine and then get a chance to look under the hood. They then return to the classroom and make a mural on butcher paper using wheels, bolts, and other machine parts.
11:00-11:30 Calimaginal Time
While the tables are being set for lunch by a team of children the others play in the playyard on a rocket ship, climber or slide, bu ild in the sandbox, or play follow the Leader through tunnels and across logs.
A song informs them that Calimaginla is over and calls them to prepare for a new activity. Coats are hung in cubbies labeled with the children's names and hands are washed in preparatin for lunch.
11:40-12:15 At lunch
Lunch at the tables begins and ends with a ritual and is a time for individual reflection on the morning.
12:15-12:30 Bathroom and Nap Preparation
The children prepare for naps by going to the bathroom, finding their cot, labeled with their named, and placing their shoes under it.
The children sleep in the darkened room.
When the children are awakened by lights and a song, they put their soes on, pile their cots up and play quietly in a room prepared for the next curriculum event with Japanese decor, music and the odor of incense.
2:30-3:00 Psychological Curriculum
The experience of the Japanese culture is intensified sa the children sit on the floor at lowered tables and talk about pictures of rice terraces and pagodas and reflect on the music and incense. They then create a tea house and make rice and tea for their snack.
The teacher in a kimona and the children wearing sashes bow to each other before they sit down in the "tea house" for snack.
3:20-3:50 Imaginal Curriculum
After viewing and discussing a movie in the "hall of cities of the world," decorated with pictures of cities, the children move to the block corner where they build the new city.
3:50-4:00 Closing Ritual
The day is affirmed by the closing ritual which send the children into calimaginal time and then home.
|TIME AND SPACE||10. Time and space are the vehicles for ordering the curriculum, tools and methods used in the preschool to educate the students. By experiencing the rational order of the day, the preschooler learns to order his own life.|