Category Archives: Inspiration

“Learning with art invites us to imagine how we might see and think differently”

A quotation I saw in Tate Britain.

I like the quote upto a point.

My question: but why only “with art”. Surely a decent education, some critical thinking skills, and some analytical skills will also prove see and think differently.

Which leads me to why I find the quote annoying. There is a certain kind of arrogance here that “only” art can lead one to think “out of the box” or with imagination. Only art gives us a chance to synthesise and blend our ideas to come up with new perspectives.

It mistakes the subject for the process. It’s not art that frees our imagination. It’s us who free our imagination. And we have to learn to exposure ourselves to new experiences and new ideas, and the ability to reflect, analyse and abstract those ideas to come up with new solutions, new processes, and innovate.

The goal of education

I came across this quotation from John W Gardener

“The ultimate goal of the educational system is to shift to the individual the burden of pursuing his own education. This will not be a widely shared pursuit until we get over our odd conviction that education is what goes on in school buildings and nowhere else.”

It made immediate sense to me. I even wrote it down in my little book of quotations.

I would modify it slightly.

“The ultimate goal of the educational system is to engender the habit of learning and seeking to understand throughout the rest of the life of the student.”

For my perspective that is a central factor to my career and life. I have learnt many new things since leaving College. Some of them entirely new to me, some of them building on previous knowledge.

I know that I do not understand somethings when first encountered; but I also know that if I apply myself and seek to learn I will understand and be able to master new things. This could be a new central heating system, a new way of laying out and formatting text and images on a web page, or how to complete a form to apply for a job.

Learning how to study, research, and analyse to gain knowledge and new skills is very important in life. School and college are one of the main inputs that push students from spoon fed children to self-aware, learning adults.

Making a Mind Map at the Design Museum

I visited the Design Museum, London, on the excellently named street Shad Thames. I have never been before and I was curious to see what was on. I was also looking for a present for a friend.

Whilst I was there I started thinking about what links I could make between the concepts and ideas I saw at the museum and any future lessons plans.

In the Designers in Residence 2014: Disruption I found they had a hands on section, with pens, pencils, and paper and an open invite to respond to the exhibition.

As I had been in the museum for about 2 hours I was overloading with ideas for teaching and decided to sit down and draw a Mind Map of “Teaching Computers.” I started just playing with the colours and drawing shapes and lines and added concepts and links as they popped up.

I will write a post about each idea at a later stage.

It was a very interesting hour spent amongst all the objects and other ideas crowding round me. I need to start writing up my notes and ideas.

Mind Map - Teaching Computers