What Do I Do Monday?
This is a book for teachers, for parents, for children or friends of children, for anyone who cares about education. It is about learningand above all some of the ways in which, in school or out, we mighthelp children learn better and perhaps learn better ourselves.
For years, like many people, I thought of learning as collectingfacts or ideas. It was something like eating, or being givenmedicine, or getting an injection at the doctor's. But from my ownexperience, and that of children, and from books, I have come tosee learning very differently, as a kind of growing, a moving andexpanding of the person into the world around him.
In the first part of this book I will try to share my vision of learning. To many, these ideas will be very new, strange, puzzling, or even wrong.
The usual ways of ordering ideas in a book will not work very wellhere. These are what we might call logical orders, the way wearrange thoughts when we are classifying them or when we are tryingto win an argument. We list ideas according to some scheme. Or we start with some premise, A, that we think the reader will agreewith. Then we try to show that if A is true, B must be true; if B, thenC, and so on until, like a lawyer, we have proved our case, won our argument with our readers. But I am not trying to win an argument.I don't feel that I am
an argument. I am seeing something in a newway and I want to help others see it, or at least look at it, in that way.For this, a step-by-step straight-line logical order will not help. Thisis not the way we look at a picture or a statue or a person or alandscape, and it is not the way we ask people to look at thesethings—when we really want them to see them, or see them anew.We look at the whole, and at the parts. We look at the parts in manydifferent orders, trying to see the many ways in which theycombine, or fit, or influence each other. We explore the picture or thelandscape with our eyes. That is what I would like to ask you to do.