Bound Pear, By Daniel Barney
Saturday afternoon, I was pulling weeds in the front yard when Dan pulled up and hopped out of his cute car. He looked so sharp in his Italian, slim cut slacks and jacket, but that's not what I wanted to write about. Dan had just returned from a meeting at the University where he had talked about his theory of education. He voiced how it is a challenge to the "traditional" notion of learning. Mind you when he starts using words like recursive elaboration and hermeneutics, he sort of loses me, but I remember my educational experience, mimicking, regurgitating and only occasionally making a connection. Dan said something that stuck in my head, he said that art as a commodity doesn't interest him as much as viewing art as a way of making meaning in the world: art as a tool for exploration, making connections and understandings. When applying this to art education, he talks about how an educational model with fixed outcomes doesn't always coincide with his teaching philosophy.
Now, upon further thought, I'm wondering if "set outcomes" should be considered and maybe applied in other areas. Marriage for instance. Of course in my marriage we do have some goals. The agenda is to stay married, be happy and care for one another as best we can. But...the path on which we work to respond to that notion is not a set curriculum there is no lesson plan. It seems to me that when we are open to exploration, making connections and understandings, in the end we might gain more that we ever knew possible. We just might even arrive a someplace that we never imagined. Approaching other ideas from parenting to cooking without a fixed outcome opens up possibilities. Hmmm...I like that.