Learning, Discovery, Ownership and SOLEs
A child’s ability to discover is important if they are to own what they learn. Believe it or not, we all know this. We just don’t realize it.
We discover things all the time. Granted these are more Christopher Columbus type discoveries in that they’d been there the whole time and we don’t have any legal ownership over what we discovered, but, somehow they are still ours.
Perhaps you took a trip to the city and while riding the bus, you spied a small awning of a restaurant that looked interesting. You texted family members, friends, “we’ve got to try this place one day” You do. It’s wonderful. Is it wonderful because it’s wonderful or is it wonderful because you found it? Who cares? It is. And it feels different than it would if someone recommended you went there because you found it on your own. My sister and I now consider the Russian Vodka Room in New York City ours because we found it like that. To my mother and I, it’s La Caverna, because one day, while in the city waiting to meet family, we stopped in and had appetizers. When you find places in that way, you feel like you have the right to welcome people there.
Places you find that way are now yours. They were there long before you were aware of them and you own no stake in them. It doesn’t matter. You own it. It’s your place.
This is how we know the Piaget quote is true because we make these kinds of discoveries all the time and own them. A thrift shop you stopped into after work that has stylish clothes. The quarterback of the Giants who came to prominence when you were old enough to follow his career from beginning to end rather than the guys who came before (looking at you, Eli).
We discover things in this way all the time and make them our own. SOLEs serve the same purpose. When children learn in SOLEs, they make what is learned their own, because they’ve discovered it. It becomes their own.
Just like we did with that Mexican restaurant over on St. Mark’s so many years ago.