The 3 and 4 year old children made up a game of 'powers' in which two children stand on a carpet square and then 'psh psh psh' their powers at each other. Other children sit to the side and often draw the action and cheer. After they had been playing this game for a while, we teachers began to wonder how to take the thinking further.
We came up with some questions; What color are your powers? What sound do they make? Could I borrow your powers? We encouraged each child to make a mask, cape and a pocket to hold their powers.
"Real animals don’t have any powers. Stories have powers. Yeah, in stories they have powers. Not any kind of real animals can’t do stuff. Can’t do stuff that powers can do, no. We play stuff but it’s not powers."
Anna Hart, you have powers, don’t you?
Hart "No. I have pretend powers. Just when I freeze stuff, and when it’s dark. It only comes out when I’m mad, or scared."
The back and forth between magical thinking and theory making is a big thread running through projects I'm working with right now. In the example above children talk about super
As Dewey, (who above all else committed himself to democracy) wrote;
"education is a regulation of the process of coming to share in the social consciousness; and that the adjustment of individual activity on the basis of this social consciousness is the only sure method of social reconstruction".
Reading Dewey and Bruner has reminded me that helping to raise people who feel that their voices matter is the way I can contribute to our social consciousness. I know in my heart that exploring power is a way children come to understand social dynamics, good and bad, and theory of mind.
"Only he who has a different visual opening can see the world in another way and can pass on to his neighbour the information required to broaden his field of view...let us get used to looking at the world through the eyes of others." Bruno Munari