Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Let My Legos Go

From Christopher's Objective I learned about the School That Banned Legos.

Basically, the kids at this private school had some huge "Legotown" project going on - building and building - and the kids got competitive and possessive about it.
Into their coffee shops and houses, the children were building their assumptions about ownership and the social power it conveys — assumptions that mirrored those of a class-based, capitalist society — a society that we teachers believe to be unjust and oppressive. As we watched the children build, we became increasingly concerned.
The school resides in a church building. According to the teachers, some kids from the church "accidentally demolished" Legotown one weekend. The school kids were upset, weeping and wailing. So the teachers used this opportunity to ban Legos.
Taking the Legos out of the classroom was both a commitment and a risk. We expected that looking frankly at the issues of power and inequity that had shaped Legotown would hold conflict and discomfort for us all.
Months later, after much re-education of the children, the Legos were re-legalized - but with a new set of rules.
All structures are public structures. Everyone can use all the Lego structures. But only the builder or people who have her or his permission are allowed to change a structure.
Lego people can be saved only by a "team" of kids, not by individuals.
All structures will be standard sizes.
I see a little Howard Roark,
Banned from building his own New York,
Held back from letting his towers rise -
All must be a standard size!

No comments: