One of the big things about this chapter is how many aspects of self-care I am missing–physical, spiritual, recreational (except for reading but a lot of that is escape or avoidance not renewal). I’ve mostly got occupational in the very traditional sense and it’s not always whole-hearted. Something to work on.
But I like her idea of not splitting these life subjects into “objective” or narrow categories–the idea that a topic like nutrition can be covered in intellectual, moral, social, cultural, and intra and interpersonal ways, that there need be no set curriculum but open discussion and self-and-social analysis. The idea of large departments of physical education (not just sports but self-care , maintenance and monitoring; social analysis and valuing of combined exercise and play) and of domestic technology (learning how to work and fix household appliances, drive a car, etc.) are good ones. This kind of broad interdisciplinary approach keeps topics essentially interesting and tied to real life concerns and teaches kids to value and think about these real life issues (rather than getting thrown into them later and thinking, “Why didn’t anyone tell me this,” which is what I so often think). It also prevents that soul-sucking boredom that sets in with proscribed curricula on Important Life Issues (TM).
I also loved the line, “I am suggesting that any material that all students are expected to know should be a prt of every teacher’s knowledge also.” yes! Either teacher’s will see how much students are expected to know or they will eschew some fo the hypocrisy and bluffing that go on.
Understanding th elife stages–birth and death–and lessening the separation between the age groups are also good ideas. Things like oral history projects, buddy programs, community service, child care, and other initiatives can help with that.
Also, “Avoiding premature death is properly part of learning to care for oneself and should be considered in a sound education for physical life.” Howl! But so true, as any mother or child care provider can tell you who has seen a child muddle into a life-threatening situation without thought.
I like her idea about teaching religion in schools as you would teach myth–without saying its myth but treating beliefs respectfully, explaining differences in opinions and that the followers don’t believe it’s myth, teaching respect for others’ beliefs. I think in [ractice this would sitll get a little dicey because parents are likely to get up in arms no matter how reasonable the curriculum. But it’s a nice idea. . .
Same with the idea of occupation as any work that fully engages us–I think this is a true definition of occupation but getting around the “how will I be hired?” and “who’s going to pay me for doing this?” questions is difficult. Teaching kids to analyze what they like doing, how they do it and what areas involve those particular talents or skills is vital though.
Recreation as refreshment and renewal rather than just escape from the drudgery of the work world. Not just physical but mental, emotional and social.