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Why We Banned Legos
Rethinking Schools ^ | Winter 2006 | Ann Pelo and Kendra Pelojoaquin

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 ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: latteliberal; legos; marxist; socialist; wartoys
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1 posted on 07/25/2007 7:37:10 PM PDT by Lorianne
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To: Lorianne

These people are just like Delores Umbrage.


2 posted on 07/25/2007 7:39:10 PM PDT by Mercat
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To: Lorianne
I stopped reading at this sentence:

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.

3 posted on 07/25/2007 7:40:58 PM PDT by Old Sarge (This tagline in memory of FReeper 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub)
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To: Lorianne
Ann Pelo and Kendra Pelojoaquin

So do Ann and Kendra have something going on?
4 posted on 07/25/2007 7:41:22 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: Lorianne

Seattle, what do you expect ...


5 posted on 07/25/2007 7:41:59 PM PDT by Ken522
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To: Lorianne

Why I banned jackasses from teaching my children.


6 posted on 07/25/2007 7:42:47 PM PDT by incredulous joe (Vote for Christian Bagge - www.energizerkeepgoinghalloffame.com)
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To: Lorianne
"...an opportunity to launch a critical evaluation of Legotown and the inequities of private ownership and hierarchical authority on which it was founded."

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.

7 posted on 07/25/2007 7:43:22 PM PDT by LibFreeOrDie (L'Chaim!)
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To: Old Sarge

It would be awful if the children understood and believed in our current form of government, wouldn’t it? /sarc


8 posted on 07/25/2007 7:43:41 PM PDT by I'm ALL Right! (THOMPSON '08)
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To: Lorianne

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.


9 posted on 07/25/2007 7:44:23 PM PDT by Elyse (I refuse to feed the crocodile.)
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To: Lorianne

I thought she resigned fron CNN this week?


10 posted on 07/25/2007 7:46:27 PM PDT by eyedigress
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To: Mercat
We invited the children to work in small, collaborative teams to build Pike Place Market with Legos. We set up this work to emphasize negotiated decision-making, collaboration, and collectivity. We wanted the children to practice the big ideas we'd been exploring. We wanted Lego Pike Place Market to be an experience of group effort and shared ownership: If Legotown was an embodiment of individualism, Lego Pike Place Market would be an experiment in collectivity and consensus.

We offered the children some guidelines to steer them into a new way of interacting with each other and with the Legos: "Create teams of two or three people, decide as a team on some element of Pike Place Market that you'll build, and then start constructing." The first day or two, children created signs warning the other teams "Do Not Touch" their collaboratively constructed vegetable, fruit, and crafts stands. As they settled into this construction project, though, the teams softened the rigid boundaries around their work and began to leave notes for each other describing their work and proposing next steps for Pike Place Market. We celebrated this shift, seeing it as a sign that the children were beginning to integrate the thinking of the last months into their interactions.


These women are evil and politically manipulative.
11 posted on 07/25/2007 7:46:54 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: Old Sarge
I am glad The Boy is in the parochial system.

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.

12 posted on 07/25/2007 7:48:04 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (A man who will not defend himself does not deserve to be defended by others.)
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To: aruanan
These women are evil and politically manipulative.

Probably ugly, too.

13 posted on 07/25/2007 7:49:20 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (A man who will not defend himself does not deserve to be defended by others.)
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To: Lorianne

“...a critical evaluation of Legotown and the inequities of private ownership and hierarchical authority on which it was founded.

these are bolsheviks.


14 posted on 07/25/2007 7:50:37 PM PDT by ken21 ( b 4 fred.)
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To: Lorianne

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.


15 posted on 07/25/2007 7:51:25 PM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: Lorianne
It was my understanding that the children instead ordered their Legos from a Chinese manufacturer using wood from Brazilian rain forest, to sequester carbon, and built their own subdivision with a wall to keep the illegals out.

And then there was something about their teachers and diazepam also...but I forget what that was about.
16 posted on 07/25/2007 7:51:34 PM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: Lorianne

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.


17 posted on 07/25/2007 7:52:14 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: Lorianne

Oh good heavens, I thought this was a story about a fellow Freeper named Legos who had been banned. Time for my meds.


18 posted on 07/25/2007 7:52:34 PM PDT by mupcat
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To: PetroniusMaximus
Make that the Communist Manifesto.
19 posted on 07/25/2007 7:53:10 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: Lorianne
My letter to the author:
Dear Ms. Pelo:

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?

Sincerely,

[B-Chan]

I can't wait to read the response.
20 posted on 07/25/2007 7:55:49 PM PDT by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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