What is worth knowing for today and tomorrow?
Project Zero’s David Perkins asks this central question about education: What is worth knowing for today and tomorrow? With the world experiencing devastating heat waves, unprecedented wildfires, draughts, and super storms, and aware that the climate crisis will only continue to grow, our answer is that it is worth promoting:
- Understanding of, curiosities about, and sensitivities to sustainable sources of energy
- Strategies for collectively tinkering toward how to live sustainably and well
What do we mean by sensitivity to sustainable sources of energy? Consider the sailor and their relationship to the wind. A love of efficiency is built into the aesthetics of sailing. Beautiful sailing is to skillfully respond to the wind as it is, moment by moment. We believe this careful attention makes possible a respect, even reverence, for the wind, and by extension nature itself.
Consider the petrol-fueled powerboat driver who recognizes the high price of fossil fuels and decides to take up sailing. Some things are the same. But whereas before he could ignore all but the strongest winds, now a different kind of attention and relationship to nature is required. To be sure this relationship asks more of him, but he knows from speaking with other sailors that it is not without its rewards.
Today we must all learn how to be more like sailors, even if we never plan to set foot in a boat. Our aim is to create the conditions for people to explore and invent new kinds of relationships to sustainable energy that are similar to that of the sailor. We believe that developing these sensitivities as part of a community of practice will better position people to understand and be creative with the question of how to live sustainably.
Perkins also asks, “Where and how does learning thrive?” Regarding an understanding and ability to work together to address climate change, our answer involves three features of teaching and learning:
- Play materials, toys for a green generation, that will promote exploration of the affordances of sunlight, wind, and other sources of sustainable energy
- Authentic inquiry, where groups of learners explore, tinker, and play with ideas together, creating understandings that do not yet exist
- A community, where people are connected across the globe, learning from and with one another (and where their ideas are taken seriously)
Continue reading in the Playing with the Sun manifesto...