Teodor’s school system



What+how should we teach kids?

That’s a problem I’d love the chance to work on at some point in my life.

This document is highly subjective, and is likely to change. The problem is hard, and has been worked on by smart people.



My best bet per 2023-05-27 is these four (in alphabetical order):

Then encourage activities that combine the subjects, for example dance (movement and aesthetics) or system design (aesthetics and analysis).

Problem: where is the adventure? Where is the movement into the unknown? Perhaps that’s not a problem, perhaps that’s just a combination. Movement into the unknown, in order to find something aeshetically better. Analysis of whether it’s better, literature about the journey.

Goal: living in a moldable system. This sort of combines all the things. Don’t give kids ipads. Give kids something they can explore the inner workings of. And something that encourages that exploration together. (ie what Kay, Papert, et al seem to conclude)

Goal: encourage the belief that people can change their circumstances for the better. Your environment is not static, it’s dynamic. Your environment is meant to be lived in.

Goal: find joy in all four. Joy in aesthetics: “This feels right to me”. Joy in analysis: “Playing around with this machine is fun, it lets me see better, understand better”. Joy in literature: “Man this story is engaging! I want to take part!” Joy in movement: “I feel the flow!”

otfrom comments: Where is “Expression”?

From the Clojurians Slack (thread link):

I think you are missing “Expression” in your 4 overarching things. It might be captured in your activities for the other four, but it would be easy for it to be formulaic without having the ability to express what you want as one of the goals/subjects.

Expression is why I do free writing 5 days per week and I find it difficult to keep going, but rewarding when I do because the practice makes it easier for me.

Though all of us here do a lot of expressing as building something in code is a form of expression (regardless of what that thing is)


My reply:


Is “expression” a way to “make it real”? Like practicing a real instrument in order to play a song “for real” for someone at some point in time?

I think you have a point.

When I look back at when I went to school, it seemed fake. Fake history: read some years to present on a test. Fake English: read some words to remember them for a test.



My summary of more comments from the Clojureverse thread

Note: these are not my ideas, only my summary of the ideas. If you want the source, please read the thread.

  1. Rich Hickey has touched on “expression” in Design, Composition and Performance and “performance”
  2. How should this schools system be funded?
  3. Expression is a way to use what you’ve learned to get a chance to move beoyond it. Also, learning to express yourself in some way is important. (source)
    1. Free writing every day is a way to exercise expression (source)
    2. Prompts can be used to break free of writing the same thing every day (source)
  4. Creative expression typically requires constraints in order to avoid the “tyranny of the blank canvas”
  5. There’s tension between “education for workers” and “education for thinkers” (source)
  6. There’s tention between the “western tradition for education” and the “eastern tradition for education”.
    1. Teodor’s current understanding:
      1. Western education is based on skills (techne) and knowledge (episteme), eastern education is based on principles
      2. Don’t feel like I have a grasp on eastern thinking. The western approach sometimes feels “dead”.
      3. Not sure how I should approach learning this. Perhaps living in it is required, that even the question “is there a book I can read?” builds in the (western) assumption that this can be learned from books. The Beatles went to India. This cool Norwegian singer/songwriter I got the chance to talk to went to India to train his vocals, and enjoyed the experience.
  7. “The categories overlap in many interesting ways that are not clear in their presentation here. Maybe a Venn-ish diagram would be better? (Trivial example: dance is movement + aesthetics.)” (source)
  8. “A missing category here is emotional education. One of the most important things we learn in the course of life is to cease to be a slave to emotional impulses, while also remaining in touch with the important things they tell us.” (source)
  9. Emotional development (trust, self-awareness, being aware of one’s emotions) and “professional development” (learning skills (teche), knowledge (episteme)) go hand-in-hand. Learning to solve hard problems together is a way to get better both at solving hard problems, and working together.