Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October 28: How Dice Taught Spelling (Vol. 37, pp. 128-136)

British philosopher John Locke died this day in 1704, and today's essay, "Some Thoughts Concerning Education," comes as a bit of a surprise. Who knew that Locke was an advocate of making learning fun?

Locke suggested using dice to help children learn the alphabet, thought Aesop's Fables made a good beginning reader and that learning "should be made as little trouble of business to him as might be.

In an age where schooling was about discipline and memorization, these ideas were radical. Equally radical was Locke's thought that art should be an integral part of the learning process. So many of the educational principles we take for granted today seem to have come from Locke.

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