Opal School exists to extend the imagination around environments that support curiosity and the wonder of learning. As we face a series of crises - not only the one Arne Duncan talks about, but those of climate change, increasing concentrations of wealth and power, and political divisions that seem to have us on a calendared cycle of near-collapse, why would we place such a high value on curiosity and imagination?
I thought of this value when I heard historian Joyce Appleby interviewed by Bill Moyers. Appleby’s new book is about the role of curiosity in transitioning the old Europe, limited by church dogma, to the modern world. Moyers asked Appleby about the relationship between curiosity and imagination. She said,
“I think curiosity depends upon your imagining something different from what exists”
- and said that it was the way in which Europeans were gobsmacked by encounters in the New World that freed them from an imagination limited by Church dogma.
What images of curiosity and imagination are we capturing at Opal School this week?"Hey, how did that happen? ...let me see that again!"
How tall can we make it? What happens when we all work together?
I just found out we are building more on to the playground. It feels like we are the most important class! I can’t wait until school is over to tell my mom. I’m also really excited to “spy” on the other kids and to meet the architect we get to interview the teacher/kids /adults and more. Wowie my heart is fluttering! It feels so fluttery it feels like its going to flutter out of me. I have so many ideas…How can you work together to create a skyline on your table with the blue tape?
Like you, I see a tremendous amount of energy being poured into the big tent of “education reform.” It will take imagination to do something other than make slight improvements to the world we have - and slight improvements don’t respond to the severity of the problems. We need to be gobmsacked to imagine something different.
We offer the work of children and adults at Opal School as one spot to generate curiosity around what could be. I'm curious: Where do you look to extend your imagination of what could be?