Skip to comments.Why We Banned Legos
Posted on 07/25/2007 7:37:07 PM PDT by Lorianne
Exploring power, ownership, and equity in an early childhood classroom ___
Carl and Oliver,* both 8-year-olds in our after-school program, huddled over piles of Legos. They carefully assembled them to add to a sprawling collection of Lego houses, grocery stores, fish-and-chips stands, fire stations, and coffee shops. They were particularly keen to find and use "cool pieces," the translucent bricks and specialty pieces that complement the standard-issue red, yellow, blue, and green Lego bricks.
"I'm making an airport and landing strip for my guy's house. He has his own airplane," said Oliver.
"That's not fair!" said Carl. "That takes too many cool pieces and leaves not enough for me."
"Well, I can let other people use the landing strip, if they have airplanes," said Oliver. "Then it's fair for me to use more cool pieces, because it's for public use."
Discussions like the one above led to children collaborating on a massive series of Lego structures we named Legotown. Children dug through hefty-sized bins of Legos, sought "cool pieces," and bartered and exchanged until they established a collection of homes, shops, public facilities, and community meeting places. We carefully protected Legotown from errant balls and jump ropes, and watched it grow day by day.
After nearly two months of observing the children's Legotown construction, we decided to ban the Legos.
(Excerpt) Read more at rethinkingschools.org ...
These people are just like Delores Umbrage.
the children were building their assumptions about ownership and the social power it conveys assumptions that mirrored those of a class-based, capitalist society a society that we teachers believe to be unjust and oppressive.
I am glad The Boy is in the parochial system.
Seattle, what do you expect ...
Why I banned jackasses from teaching my children.
These are KIDS using Legos, for Pete's sake! Socialists don't know how to have fun, and won't let anyone else have fun, either.
It would be awful if the children understood and believed in our current form of government, wouldn’t it? /sarc
Where is the barf alert? If they had just supervised the kids playing and made them share in the first place this little power struggle would have never happened. All this article proves is that the adults waited until a situation was out of hand before they stepped in and taught the kids how to share their toys.
I thought she resigned fron CNN this week?
Keep an eye on things. Parochial school ain't what it used to be. (Sister Estelle would disapprove of my use of the word "ain't".) Liberation Theology, Sex Positive education, Feminism, etc.. Beware.
Probably ugly, too.
“...a critical evaluation of Legotown and the inequities of private ownership and hierarchical authority on which it was founded.
these are bolsheviks.
Boy I bet when these teachers were in school, if someone demanded to hold their lunch money, they willingly gave it to them. No fuss, no matter.
Wow. It’s like reading The Comunist Manifesto...
* Collectivity is a good thing:
* Personal expression matters:
* Shared power is a valued goal:
* Moderation and equal access to resources are things to strive for...
* All structures are public structures. Everyone can use all the Lego structures. But only the builder or people who have her or his permission are allowed to change a structure.
* Lego people can be saved only by a “team” of kids, not by individuals.
* All structures will be standard sizes.
Oh good heavens, I thought this was a story about a fellow Freeper named Legos who had been banned. Time for my meds.
Dear Ms. Pelo:I can't wait to read the response.
I read with interest the piece written by you at http://www.rethinkingschools.org/archive/21_02/lego212.shtml. In retrospect, I can only thank a benevolent God that my child will not receive instruction at the Hilltop Children' Center [sic].
Homework: Please read and contemplate Rudyard Kipling's poem "The Gods Of The Copybook Headings" [http://www.kipling.org.uk/poems_copybook.htm]. Compare and contrast Kipling's point of view to the "values of equality and democracy" that you and your colleague hope to instill in your students. In view of historical events, which value system is more reflective of actual reality as experienced by human beings?
Ah. Yer one of those guys. So is my Dad. I’m just shy of 40 and he’s just shy of 60 and still, walking into their home after a recent fishing trip I hear my Dad report the following to my mother, “The Boy” caught his limit and half of mine!”
When I was younger it bothered me. Now....I know it’s something I’ll miss when he’s no longer around to say it.
I and Missus are on top of it. She is involved heavily with the faculty, and my status as Returning Veteran hasn’t worn away yet.
This article needs an “It takes a (Lego) village” barf alert!
Idiots! The very society that they think is unjust and oppressive is what makes our country great. Without competition in a free capitalist system you end up with the dredges of humanity spread to all corners. NO one would be able to lift themselves out of disparity, leaving misery for all.
Where do these morons come from and why are they teaching our children?
Never heard an 8 year old child speak so eloquently. I do believe the story of the children is fictitious.
That’s Not Fair: A Teacher’s Guide to Activism with Young Children by Ann Pelo
A classroom activity asks students to define terrorism and ... By Ann Pelo
OMG what a read!
And the conclusion:
“Children absorb political, social, and economic worldviews from an early age. Those worldviews show up in their play, which is the terrain that young children use to make meaning about their world and to test and solidify their understandings. We believe that educators have a responsibility to pay close attention to the themes, theories, and values that children use to anchor their play. Then we can interact with those worldviews, using play to instill the values of equality and democracy.”
Using play to instill OUR values on other people’s children.
For the past two years my 8yo daughter has been playing a game she and her friends made up called “Powers”. It involves about 800 rules, kids in shifting teams and ever-shifting power from person to person, depending on these mysterious rules. The kids love it because someone always is in power and others try to get the power. Guess this wouldn’t go over too well at the commune school.
The Boy is about to hit The Big One-Oh, and I’m still his best playmate for now.
They took away the legos for 5 months while they indoctrinated the kids about how it was bad to have power over others, and how important conformity was.
Then they gave the kids the legos back. Of course the kids did exactly what the teachers expected them to do — they didn’t want to lose their legos for another 5 months while they sat through stupid games that make no sense.
Too bad, because the kids were learning a valuable lesson about how things are worth only what value others place on them — if they had played more, and the teachers had encouraged people to build things OTHER than legotown, soon some kids would devalue the “valuable” legos out of necesity, and the kids in “power” would realise the law of supply and demand.
“This whole article makes my BS meter ring! Ding! Ding! Ding!”
Its real. Check out the school site... http://www.hilltopcc.com/
My oldest daughter is in the IB program for gifted children. In the middle of her junior year, the whole family attended her "pinning ceremony" where she was officially inducted into the IB (International Baccalaureate)program.
The Keynote speaker was the valedictorian of the first school year... 1999. She was a young woman that still looked like one of the students even though she was now married with a child. The Principal started his introduction with a Lego story.
He said, "The first time I met Jessica, she was playing with children's building blocks. Legos to be exact. She was in the 7th grade at (a private school) and I watched her play with those Legos for the next five years. She built a robot that could read with those Legos. She now has her degrees in robotics and language and is the head of the Lockheed Long Bow Apache attack helicopter long range fire control system."
I immediately thought of the videos of terrorist being splattered by the Apaches that I have seen all over the internet. When I got to shake her hand in the greeting line, I said, "I've seen your work on the internet... nice job!" and her reply was, "Awesome, huh?".
So, Legos are bad for commies and bad for terrorist, but they have a special place in my heart now!
there are so many ways to have kids build something like this without causing problems.
But its the teachers and their stupid rules that made the problems.
Why did they not just give each kid a random bag of pieces, and let the kids be cretaive using the pieces they got? Thats the beauty of Legos, you can make ANYTHING with them.
It’s a perfect example of how creating new rules in an attempt to regulate activity fails miserably.
“The Boy is about to hit The Big One-Oh, and Im still his best playmate for now.”
That’s a great time. May neither of you ever forget the times that you are going to have, but I find at least from “The Boys’” POV that while I loved every minute with my Dad growing up, I have more of an ability to appreciate him now that I’m grown.
So much for the folks that say church based schools are better than public schools.
We all know the answers to those - they are leftists, but Americans still; and they teach because we allow them to.
“I do believe the story of the children is fictitious.”
“We recognized that children are political beings, actively shaping their social and political understandings of ownership and economic equity,” Pelo and Pelojoaquin wrote. “We agreed that we want to take part in shaping the children’s understandings from a perspective of social justice. So we decided to take the Legos out of the classroom.”
So after “months of social justice exploration,” Pelo and Pelojoaquin reintroduced the Legos, but only after the children had learned that “collectivity is a good thing.” And with the return of the colorful toys came three new laws.
All Lego structures are now public structures. All kids can use all the Lego structures, but only the builder or people who have her or his permission are allowed to change a structure. Lego people can be saved only by a “team” of kids, not by individuals, and all structures will be standard sizes.
“Our intention,” wrote teachers Ann Pelo and Kendra Pelojoaquin, “was to promote a contrasting set of values: collectivity, collaboration, resource-sharing, and full democratic participation.”
Yes. I especially note that when the kids started building again, at first they still tried to keep their own buildings their own, but after a while they realised that if you have to build all the buildings the same, it really didn’t make any difference who built what, and they all “cooperated” building everything. The teachers thought that was a triumph, but it was actually capitulation and resignation.
If they had had more parts for the little people (hats, etc.) what they might have seen is everybody STOP building buildings and spending all their time trying to make their PERSON the best person in the lot.
I solved this problem at my house by buying a few hundred thousand lego pieces. Now there is no such thing as a “rare, special” piece, and we can all build whatever we want.
What a pantload this is!!!!
The kids with the vision to build Legotown became the bad guys of course because they assumed that that they, the builders, would reap a reward for their vision, hard work and industriousness.
But no!!! We can’t have kids rise to their level of potential. Others not so gifted might suffer from self esteem problems. So let’s mess with their heads, and go through a tortuous mental process to suck all of the individuality and creativity out of the builder bees in the hive.
The whole problem is that the number of Legos was rationed to begin with, like in all Communist societies. The kids came up with their own system for valuing and apportioning building materials—pretty good for a bunch seven and eight year olds. Instead of letting the kids go through the process and re-build and let their creativity soar, oh no, the ever so bright Marxist teachers had to show them the error of their ways.
People like these teachers have never achieved anything, and can only reduce those who produce down to the level of the lowest common denominator.
Anyone who loves their child needs to take their kid out of this Marxist inspired, and run like hell away from this God awful place.
Communists do not allow fun.
Oh, I know the main story is true, but the storyline dialog I do believe is fictitious.
From what I read, it is a daycare housed in a church, not affiliated with it.
Could be. Sort of “false history” created by the Lezbo Commu-Nazis to help us all reach enlightenment.
Leggo my lego!