A place to tear down

This post is about themes of human culture passed down over generations, and how these themes could be taught to students in learning spaces that might not be available to them currently. The inspiration comes from two sources:

1. “Why Walking through a Doorway Makes You Forget” from Scientific American based on this technical paper.

2. Ecclesiastes 3 (NASB), a biblical passage attributed to King Solomon.

Imagine a school appointed with many rooms:

A place to give birth and a place to die;
A place to plant and a place to uproot what is planted.

A place to kill and a place to heal;
A place to tear down and a place to build up.

A place to weep and a place to laugh;
A place to mourn and a place to dance.

A place to throw stones and a place to gather stones;
A place to embrace and a place to shun embracing.

A place to search and a place to give up as lost;
A place to keep and a place to throw away.

A place to tear apart and a place to sew together;
A place to be silent and a place to speak.

A place to love and a place to hate;
A place for war and a place for peace.

One might call this the school of life, or the school of hard knocks. Some of the more intense themes may not be appropriate for all ages, so imagine that care has been taken to present them gradually. For example, birth and death could be experienced through the natural life cycles of small pets, and themes of destruction could be experienced through sand sculptures or blocks. Neither is it an exhaustive list of rooms. The idea easily expands to include rooms for modern art, science, mathematics, and other forms of education.

Do our schools currently provide distinct rooms for these kinds of lessons? Is place-based learning compatible with general assessment tests?

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