Friday, February 15, 2013

Gears of my childhood

I am involved in the current running of Learning Creative Learning with MIT and P2Pu. A fantastic online course which is prompting much reflection and confirming much of what I am doing with inspiring adult learners. I am definately on the right road!

This weeks activity is to;
Read Seymour Papert’s essay on the “Gears of My Childhood” and write about an object from your childhood that interested and influenced you.

I struggled with this. I didn't have an object like Papert had, something that I grew my learning around, something I would use to visualize or conceptualize my learning. Something I did have, and still have... is the bicycle. I rode my bicycle everywhere, to school, from school, to the park, just up and down our dead-end road. My social life was around the bicycle for many years, we had a bike club on our street. Every day and every weekend we would meet-up and do things, the bicycle was a constant.   I didn't think about the bicycle in direct relationship with my learning. It never was a gear to my learning. I would rather see is as a foundation to most of what I did, and played a big part of forming who I am today.
  • The bicycle provided a freedom to travel great distances, unsupervised. Today, I love to travel.
  • The bicycle provided me access to a number of different social circles and friendships. Today, I know many people and socialize across social and economic domains.
  • The bicycle provided me travel to many different events. Today, my interests and studies are broad.
  • The bicycle allowed me to escape the restraints of what was expected of me. Today, I seek (with confidence) alternate routes to desired outcomes.
  • The bicycle was easy to take apart and put back together. Today, I am constantly taking things apart and putting them back together, often improving them along the way.
  • The bicycle caused me injury, but I always made it home. Today, I pick myself up on bad days and have persistence to keep going.
  • The bicycle took me places I could not have otherwise gone. Today, I am still curious and follow thoughts, ideas and inspirations to places I would not have otherwise gone.
I know that the bicycle isn't the same as the gear as described by Papert. I never used the bicycle as an analogy or image to base my learning. The bicycle provided me a freedom to become an autodidactic.