If the image of students feeling bored inside the classroom, wondering what all these numbers and shapes mean and why they are useful at all, feels somehow familiar to you, then we share some common school experience. Now that I am older, I wonder why it has been so difficult for math teachers to actually open this magical world and let us in. And I feel strangely intrigued each time I read about an innovative teaching approach which promises to expose students through playful activities to whole scientific phenomena.
STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics] has penetrated standard school practice in a powerful way. What about humanities then? Should we abolish the study of history and literature? And what is the benefit of maths and engineering, let’s say in the case of the study of an archaeological excavation, without an initiation in “beauty”, a taste of philosophy and a dip into arts?
Life is not black and white and sciences go far beyond the superficial discrimination between theory and practice. Thus, the beauty of education lies in the whole and not in the part, in learning through phenomena and processes and not through memorizing rules, laws and individual facts.