Today I heard an exceptionally fascinating radio interview by Krista Tippett. She was speaking with Adele Diamond, a developmental cognitive neuroscientist from the University of British Columbia.
The interview will take an hour to hear, but it will be time well spent while you are peeling plenty of peaches, pampering with a particularly perfect pedicure, or patiently puttering on plumbing pipes.
Here is a bonafide, highly respected authority saying how important play and fun are in developing the prefrontal cortex and how the entire concept of how we educate must change. She points out the clear evidence that our brains simply work better in joyful situations.
Much of what she says also applies not just to kids and schools but to all of us at any age.
(My heartfelt thanks to Dr. Jim Lawler for calling my attention to this.)
Recently I came across a book published in 1978, The Silent Pulse by George B. Leonard, who, by the way also wrote Education and Ecstasy, the amazing book that led me into all of this. Leonard was an editor of Look magazine who wrote about the human potential, and was far ahead of his time, visualizing things that required our current level of technology to implement. Nonetheless, he provided visions of the future that were electrifying and brilliant.
I was delighted to find this paragraph that so well expresses the outcome of my vision, once the proper learning environments are available to all.
“A world of connectedness, potential, and evolution turns us toward a vivid sense of community along with the acceptance of personal responsibility; toward a de-emphasis on competing and winning along with a re-emphasis on participating and experiencing; from aggression toward gentleness and enjoyment; from dominance of nature to blending with nature; from exponential growth in production and consumption to a more moderate, more ecological standard of living along with a powerful intentionality; toward social justice throughout the world.”