An Invitation to Find your Place in a Circle of Partnership
(top drawing: Jordan Reynolds)
“‘What, then, is education? I believe it is the course the individual goes through in order to catch up with himself’” (Kierkegaard,  1983, p. 46).
Goethe offers us a novel way of coming to the meaning of who we are and where we are. In The Experiment as Mediator Between Object and Subject, Goethe describes a “series of experiments that border on one another closely and touch each other directly; and which indeed, if one knows them all exactly and surveys them, constitute as it were a single experiment. . . .” He regarded this care to connect the “closest to the closest” as an experimental analog of mathematical deduction, which “on account of its deliberateness and purity reveals every leap into assertion.”’ ( Read more here)
Birthing a Story
In the card snapshots below we can use Goethe’s method to join the “closest to the closest” to find the assertion of the picture they paint together. How to bring what seems a random collection of images into a single sense?
Try out the following examples of piecing together the meaning of the whole.
Move the cards with the mouse and see if you can sequence them into their natural order.
Otherwise click button Deal in Order! to see the whole process!
The images are Zebrafish embryos showing stages in development that come from the paper: Kimmel et al Stages of embryonic development of the zebrafish Dev Dyn. 1995 Jul;203(3):253-310.
The example of the Awesome Zoom game is from the book The Awesome Zoom We are in a story of different snapshots of an adventure and work out how they fit in a whole story. Try out our image sequencer below.
What meaning does it tell you? What do we find in sequencing these cards? If you have time, move cards with the mouse and see if you can sequence them into their natural order.Try to find the story of the rocket and the rooster yourself. Otherwise click button Deal in Order! to show them in their finished order!
“I feel like we’ve been in this classroom for weeks talking about meaning and wholeness and in a way this was putting our ability as a group to work on matter to make meaning out of it. We haven’t worked together on an actual material riddle and this was just that.” (Titiane Haton, MSc class comment 2015.)
Our students on the Complexity and Chaos course uncovered the sequence as a group. Each student had two cards, which they could not show the others but could only describe.
Read the process of the classroom arriving at the whole story here
GLOBAL SYNAPSES works through stages of development bringing together pulses at the periphery of possibility towards a centre of identity. This cycle of renewal is present all the time in Nature, illustrating the organic form of our enterprise. Below is the example of the slime mould that forms out of individual amoebae.
Texts and pictures from Brian Goodwin (1990) Slime mould from Biology, Form and Function; Open University.
Catching up with ourselves
(at any level in any context) looking to reflect on the foundations of what you do and why you do it?
- Are you a teacher
Are you concerned about the internal and external factors that enable and limit your authentic expression (as both a professional and a ‘human person’ with agency)?
We would like you to explore your lived experiences of how you relate and promote a living source of wholeness in both yourself as a teacher, in your students and in your experience of daily life, thereby enabling both you and your students to ‘catch up’ with themselves.
We wish to explore the riddle of how to acknowledge a meaning of wholeness, which appears to be no longer valued or seen, within education or the wider culture.
Please fill in the form below to join the circle of partnership!
This invitation comes to you from Philip Franses, Global Synapses & Mike Wride, LearningWithCreativity-Educational Services
Your response to the questions
Franses, P. and Wride, M. (2015) Goethean Pedagogy
Kierkegaard, S. ( 1983). Fear and trembling and repetition. (H. V. Hong & E. H. Hong, Trans.). New Jersey, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Rumianowska, A. (2019): Existential perspectives on education, Educational Philosophy and Theory, DOI: 10.1080/00131857.2019.1633915