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Humility and a Wilder Harmony

Updated: Nov 6, 2021

By Lisa Allen

My job with children is to weave together experiences that lead to richer experiences.

I've been inspired by Experience and Education, by John Dewey.

Here are a few brief excerpts...

The belief that all genuine education comes about through experience does not mean that all experiences are genuinely or equally educative.

Some experiences are miseducative.

Any experience is miseducative that has the effect of arresting or distorting the growth of further experience.

An experience may be such as to engender callousness; it may produce lack of sensitivity and of responsiveness. Then the possibilities of having richer experience in the future are restricted.


The child’s experience is authentic, hidden, and not the planned activity, itself. Intuition informs just enough to guide questions, which if asked, are additional experiences. I watch the pathway unfold, what direction it's going with its tributaries and eddies. I introduce another element into the game, watching for the ensuing experiences, knowing myself to be one more element in this improvised symphony. I rarely remember how blindly I insert my adult footprints into it all, never moving without shadow. And yet we adults are just as blessed a part of this messy dance: light, shadow and fog... a wilder harmony.

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