Monday, September 20, 2010

Characterizing Learning

The other night, I started thinking about the many characters I know from books and comics and wondered about how unconventional their education was and how they might have fared as homeschoolers. This is the type of thinking that could keep me up all night. I figured I would start making a list of some of the characters. Please excuse me if I got any of my facts wrong. I realize it's been a while since I've read some of these books, so I'm simply using the impressions they left on me. I also realize I've listed more male than female characters. These were simply the first ones I thought of and I wanted to write them down before I forgot. If you like what I've done, maybe I will work on additional characters in a future article. Feel free to add your own in the comments.

Christopher Robin: Young Christopher's love of nature kept him outside every day exploring the Hundred Acre Wood. He spent hours tromping through mud, observing the local inhabitants, playing Pooh Sticks, and building shelters for his friends. He learned a lot about natural science by observing cloud formations and noting weather conditions (e.g.: "Today is a blustery day." or "Tut, tut, it looks like rain!").

Alice: Classically educated, Alice had a tendency to let her mind wander during studies. The solution? She switched to a more eclectic style. This allowed for her creative spirit to shine through and favored her penchant for odd recitations, riddles, and chess.

Superman: Kal-El's father was a super homeschooling dad. Knowing his son had a long journey ahead, Jor-El made enough educational recordings for several trips between Krypton and Earth. These recordings would be cherished by Kal-El (aka Clark) and he could often be found listening to them as an adult at his Fortress of Solitude.

Batman: Bruce Wayne enjoyed a projects-based education. Alfred often found young Bruce inventing useful devices. He kept them handy in his utility belt. After all, you never know when you might need a bat-grappling hook.

Huckleberry Finn: As a decidedly independent learner, Huck followed any interest, no matter where it led. He was often found rafting along the Mississippi River, making observations about the people and places he came across.

Lucy Pevensie: It can be difficult being the youngest of four. Lucy often sought escape from the real world. Her imaginative play and love of animals led to many new friends and adventures in a world apart from her imaginings. She also developed a strong sense of right and wrong. It's amazing how much you can learn by stepping into a wardrobe.

Harry Potter: Harry followed a standard school curriculum, but because he was often bullied, most of his studying was accomplished in a cupboard under the stairs. These early learning experiences would later influence his educational choices. At Hogwarts, Harry preferred to pursue his own interests, such as sports and combatting advanced dark wizards, over the more conventional magical studies of history, herbology, and potion-making.

Westley: A self-motivated learner, Westley spent years educating himself while working on a farm before accepting an apprenticeship aboard the pirate ship Revenge under the tutelage of the Dread Pirate Roberts (aka Ryan). Learning through life experiences would eventually help Westley outwit many opponents and successfully blaze a trail through the Fire Swamp.

7 comments:

schmobes said...

LOVE IT! Especially the inclusion of Westley, a long-time favorite of mine!

Kez said...

lol, I knew I liked you for a reason :)

Inner Elder said...

Wow! Your creativity is boundless. I could see using the characters as jump off points for discussion in lessons. What great book reports that would make. I would give you some characters to add but my mind is blank this morning. Love, Mom

Stephanie aka The Stark Raving Bibliophile said...

Totally awesome! :-)

Chele said...

Love this! What a fun way to think about these characters. Hmmm...

TobyBo said...

yay for Westley!

Jessica said...

Awesome! One of my favorite books, The Princess Bride.

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