Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot questions the absence of primal questions

May 9th, 2009 - 7:53 pm ICT by GD  

Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, American sociologist who deals with the culture of schools, and the models and structural organization of classroom life, has recently commented on the lack of primal questions in schools. She gave examples of certain “primal questions” which she thought should be incorporated. Some of these questions are:

Why did he feel that way?
What happened next?
What did he feel like?
Where did he go then?

According to Sara primal questions such as these make childhood interesting. These questions help the child to instinctively connect to life. Sara emphasizes that primal questions are instrumental in bringing about real development and growth in the child’s faculties. American schools have not been too successful because of the absence of these primal questions. However, these questions do exist in storytelling sessions or classes.

When a story is told, the child’s basic intuitions are are stimulated. With them as part of the action in stories, visceral, gripping action when the stories are good, these stories have an amazing effect on children. Through these stories and the characters in them, children are able to connect to life. The other benefit is of course the development of language skills.

Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot also studies the socialization in families and communities. She has also been exploring the relationship between culture and learning styles. Sara has been a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education since the 1970s. One of her pioneering studies has been in the development of portraiture, which is an approach to social science methodology bridging the domains of aesthetics and empiricism.

Sara has eight books to her credit. These include I’ve Known Rivers, (dealing with the development of creativity and wisdom), The Art and Science of Portraiture, and The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the 25 Years After 50.

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