Friday, November 23, 2007

Emotional Cartography: In and Outside the Classroom

Continuing from the last post . . . .

I met with Chris Nold a week or so ago to discuss the possibility of working on a project within the storytelling work we do at CAGSE.

Most learning challenges for children are emotional rather than intellectual. What if we could help kids learn better by visually mapping the way they learn?

The Order of Chaos

In the creative process, there is always a point at which one steps into unknown territory. Writers often call it a block, but everyone knows that feeling of frustration when you've walked out of what you know and are not yet where you want to go.

Most of the time, this state causes anxiety, stress, and despair. It doesn't matter how many journeys of this kind we've made -- somehow, each time, we believe the state of not knowing will never end.

Once acknowledged, adults have the cognitive resources -- both intellectual and emotional -- to remind themselves that they've done this before, to remember the moment when they last found their way, and that no one exists in a limbo of uncertainty forever.

In other words, adults have the reasoning abilities (and one hopes, the practice) to know that change is inevitable.

What if there were a way to help children understand and remember this as well? Would this allow them to be feel comfortable with more risk and be more creative?

More in the next post.

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