-Mr. Cardwell, Lower School Music Teacher
"The young do not know enough to be prudent, and so they attempt the impossible, and achieve it, generation after generation."
The quote above has resonated with me throughout our Bike Factory Storyline and especially now as I reflect upon the story and the events that took place. I know that we all have the capacity for invention and to solve problems, but why do I feel so stifled when faced by the prospect of inventing or even improvisation while playing make believe? And why is it that children seem so naturally gifted with the ability to invent and have a propensity of ideas? And then it dawns on me. Young children still have a great deal of imagination and belief in the impossible. After having watched them tinker and invent in this Storyline it has been made even more apparent that their capability to problem solve is a testament to their inventive spirit.
How often have we teachers heard that we are preparing students for jobs that do not exist yet or that we need to ready them with 21st century skills. And yet, schools are moving away from inventiveness with every test they must teach to. Being employees at a Bike Factory allowed the kids to think in a way that goes beyond anything a test can measure. It allowed them to be critical thinkers as well as fluent and flexible thinkers, especially when they took bike parts and turned them into a variety of holiday decorations or they brainstormed or they had an idea did not go the way they expected.
There's a story I used to read to my son called Little Boy way back when he was, well, a little boy. The boy in the story sees the endless possibilities in something as simple as a big cardboard box. With a dash of imagination and creativity, he turns the box into a pirate ship, a space costume and a crash pad. I imagine you too have witnessed your own child's innovativeness with the recycling you're trying to get out the door or listened to them spin a story out of thin air. Perhaps Thomas Edison said it best, "The greatest invention in the world is the mind of a child."
-Ms. Fiore, 2nd Grade Teacher