Greetings teachers, and thank you for joining us today. You’ve been recruited to help take us to the next level by choosing to work in avowedly experimental schools.
We think of every school as experimental, as is every day in one’s life. However only some schools are willing to put “experimental” on the label.
Lets dive right in and consider the following paragraphs, more context for which will be provided afterwards:
Lists know how to append. Sets know how to participate in union and intersection operations. A numpy matrix will invert itself, in the linear algebra sense, if we use the right type of matrix (not just an ordinary numpy array). A dict may be updated with another dict.
The idea of a type of object, is that to each type there corresponds a set of methods, characteristic of that type.
This style of thinking was not meant to seem “out of the blue” but is rather meant to imitate what we might consider everyday human language grammar. We know that Dog type animals have characteristic behaviors and attributes, such as a propensity to bark, wag a tail, eat.
You may recognize the literature these paragraphs are drawn from. If you’re thinking “computer science” that’s correct, you’re definitely in the ballpark.
More specifically, the author’s use of “numpy matrix” and “numpy array” signifies we’re in the domain of the Python computer language, arguably the most popular such language of all time, as of this posting in October of 2018.
As you know, from surveying our Digital Mathematics curriculum, we’re gaga for polyhedrons. We consider them an archetypal “type” of object, both in the computer programming sense, and in the purely mathematical sense.
It’s in the synthesis of these two senses that we achieve breakthroughs in students’ understanding.
On the economics side of the fence, you’ll remember we have two core focus areas: home economics and philanthropy (e.g. CSN).
I’ve mentioned Food Not Bombs before as one of our philosophical parent classes or templates, and as a philanthropic endeavor.
As a teacher, one of my jobs for FNB was to pull empty bicycle trailers, sometimes two in a chain, to a local organic produce warehouse, and fill them. I was rescuing perfectly good food from becoming compost.
We would then take the food to a church kitchen, prepare it, and move it again by bicycle trailer, to our serving area.
In my case, the serving area was at a public park known as Colonel Summers, on SE Taylor Street in Portland, Oregon.
Cooking is only a part of this workflow.
The logistics of feeding people does not stop at the shopping list and supermarket. We are not necessarily focused on the needs of a suburban nuclear family with a motor vehicle, eating as a family unit. That’s one model among many, as we’ve studied in Anthropology (cite STEAM).
That’s where you come in, as a teacher, by adapting the curriculum to the needs of your community. Are you in a refugee camp? We have quite a few such camps around Portland, most of them informal and without kitchen tents or any support from the City.
Speaking of tent cities, we have a lot in this curriculum about tents in general, including circus tents. The historic links between tent and teepee do not go unnoticed. Both were designed for portability in most cases.
Some of you have opted to live on a Nomads Campus. For you, the tent-related segments of this curriculum will be especially apropos, as might be as well our segments on Geodesic Domes (a feature of most campus lifestyle options, not just for nomads).
In Portland, we also have Mercy Corps with its focus on refugee camp living, so if you’re connecting through Oregon Curriculum Network (OCN), you might already be working with them. If you’re in Turkey, you may be working with Syrian refugees.
The Tetrahedron is probably the simplest tent, with three poles tied together at a common apex. That’s our simplest Polyhedron type. If you’ve been through Polyhedrons 101, you will already know about our hierarchy.
I’ll be seeing some of you during the upcoming on-line workshops. Keep in touch.