How will you look for [something]," he
asks, "when you do not know at all what it
Plato’s Meno, Sections 80 – 86
quoted in Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost
If the only tool you have is a
yardstick, you look for what you
Elliot Eisner, Arts and the Creation of Mind, 2002
Consider the implications of the relationship between
forms of representation for the selection of content in
the school curriculum. Learning to use particular forms
of representation is also learning to think and represent
meaning in particular ways. How broad is the current
distribution? What forms of representation are
emphasized? In what forms are students expected to
become “literate”? What modes of cognition are
stimulated, practiced, and refined by the forms that are
Arts and the Creation of Mind
Elliott Eisner (2002)
• Slow down perception
• Invite us to look [and listen] hard
• Give us permission to explore and play.’
What surprise looks like
Full Moon and Little Frieda
A cool small evening shrunk to a dog bark and the clank of a bucket -
And you listening.
A spider's web, tense for the dew's touch.
A pail lifted, still and brimming - mirror
To tempt a first star to a tremor.
Cows are going home in the lane there, looping the hedges with their warm
wreaths of breath -
A dark river of blood, many boulders,
Balancing unspilled milk.
'Moon!' you cry suddenly, 'Moon! Moon!'
The moon has stepped back like an artist gazing amazed at a work
That points at him amazed.
What did you find that you didn’t know you
were looking for?
IMPLICATIONS FOR TEACHING
Slow down children’s perceptions
Explore the potential of film – watching and making
Use constraints in creative tasks: Lumiere Minutes
Help children look closely at the things they make…