You might remember story hour at the library. Walk in the front door. How big the library seemed! How many different books there were. The way they smelled. That musty, vanilla, dead-grass aroma will forever be a comfort to so many of us. How exciting it was--the newness of it all.
The SOLE Hour is a new edition of that wonderful tradition.
No. We are not trying to replace or even enhance the story hour. We love books and perish the thought. What we are trying to do is establish a new tradition, a new program for the children where they will learn and grow and amaze us all with what they can do and know and learn.
SOLE stands for Self-Organized Learning Environment. It's in our nature to self-organize. The ducks and geese do not take classes to learn to fly in a V formation. The flowers do not rely on our farmers' almanacs to know when to bloom. Even we adults often unwittingly acknowledge our own self-organizing nature when we speak of our play in our youth: "When I was a kid, the bunch of us would just go outside in the morning. There'd be a bunch of sticks around. In ten minutes we'd invent a game and it would last all day!" That is self-organization.
The SOLE takes advantage of our natural instinct to self-organize, the creativity of children, and the wealth of information we have at our fingertips via the Internet, and allows children to explore the big questions that they (and we) wonder about (Why DO geese fly in Vs?), and form their own understandings of them.
What does a SOLE look like? Professor Sugata Mitra of Newcastle University developed the idea
for the Self-Organized Learning Environment and is currently using it to develop Schools in the Cloud. For a further description of SOLEs and how they look and what happens, please click here.
The above video from PBS Newshour discusses the SOLE via SOLE NYC @ P.S. 197 in Harlem
Our desire at SOLE @ Home, is to bring Self-Organized Learning Environments to your children. If you are interested in bringing the SOLE Hour to your town, please contact us and let us know.