Legos were OK at first until Hilltop decided that the children were learning the wrong lessons from such play. So Legos were banned:
This bold decision would demonstrate our discomfort with the issues we saw at play in Legotown. And it posed a challenge to the children: How might we create a "community of fairness" about Legos?
We also discussed our beliefs about our role as teachers in raising political issues with young children.
...we want to take part in shaping the children's understandings from a perspective of social justice.
These children seemed to squirm at the implications of privilege, wealth, and power that "giving" holds.
Our planning was guided by our goals for social justice learning,
Now, with Legotown dismantled and the issues of equity and power squarely in front of us, we took up the idea of power and its multiple meanings.
In Legotown, the children had constructed a social system of power where a few people made the important decisions and the rest of the participants did the grunt work...
[Which, when you think about it, is pretty much how the real world
works. But, as we all know, socialists hate the real world and in their Utopian
fantasies are forever seeking ways to change human nature.]
After a period of theoretical indoctrination of the children, Legos were reinstated, with a new set of rules more to the Hilltop staff's socialist liking. For example:
...it was time to challenge the children to wrestle their theoretical understandings into practical shape and apply their analysis of individual and collective ownership to a concrete project.
If Legotown was an embodiment of individualism, Lego Pike Place Market would be an experiment in collectivity and consensus.
Collectivity is a good thing
Shared power is a valued goal
All structures are public structures,
All structures will be standard sizes.
One could go on at length about the significance of this. But there are at least two others that do a much better job than I could possibly attempt. So,
Credit where credit is due
I first encountered this story in an excellent essay at "Breath of the Beast".
David Thompson offers his take and provokes some interesting debate in the comments.A couple of final thoughts
This is another example fitting a theme I’ve posted on before. The left has long seen the education system as an obvious vehicle for socialist indoctrination and they’ve made great inroads. Wouldn’t it be nice if the philosophies of Adam Smith, Hayek and Friedman were at least as well represented in the today’s curricula as the socialists’?
And it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if I were to learn that the daycare teachers in this case were thoroughly exposed to this kind of thinking during their college studies.
Update: Here's the "Rethinking Schools" reaction to Fox News and others' criticism of their Lego article. [H/t to John M Reynolds]