Book Cover

Spontaneity and Freedom

Creative-C Learning: The Innovative Kindergarten

Peter Fritz Walter
May 11, 2015 · 6 min read

Published in 2014 with Createspace / Amazon by Peter Fritz Walter.

©2015 Peter Fritz Walter. Some rights reserved.
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

The Book

‘Creative-C Learning’ presents a pre-school curriculum for a sane, holistic, brainsmart and systemliterate education of small children. The author’s educational approach is tailored to how our brain works and develops from ages 2 to 6. It’s a functional approach, not an idealistic one, based on the actual constitution of the human being, with all the complexity inherent in it.

The author contends that children are born sane and are rendered more or less insane by an educational system that till now considers the human being as the impossible human, that is, a creature that is basically faulty and has to be improved and upgraded by education, and morality. The present view opposes this age-old educational paradigm and shows that traditional education brings about fragmentation, ignorance and widespread violence.

The present curriculum emphasizes the natural integrity and wholeness of the small child, who is by nature a systems thinker. The curriculum builds upon this fact and presents a way to raise pre-schoolers in a learning environment that fosters systemic thinking capabilities, so that children become systemliterate at a young age.

The author also emphasizes the need for teaching emotional awareness to teachers and presents techniques to be applied in the vocational training for early child care workers and pre-school teachers that teach how to cope with stress, and that show the details of the trustbuilding process both between teachers and students and between parents and teachers.

The audience for this guide are all those involved in educating children, as well as educational policy makers, also parents, educational associations, politicians, pediatricians and child psychologists, and also the lay public, especially those who are looking for a new way to educate children now and in the future.

Chapter 8 : Spontaneity and Freedom

Spontaneity is not just the art workshop where the kids can draw whatever they like, and where they can compose forms and colors.

The meaning of spontaneity in life is a vast space, and cannot be confined to specific activities, while it is true that spontaneity can be enhanced by doing things spontaneously, and doing every day more things spontaneously. But the meaning of spontaneity knows another dimension.

Let me give an example taken from the Krishnamurti school concept, which I have mentioned earlier on. In his book Education and the Significance of Life (1978), K writes about spontaneity without mentioning the word spontaneity, seeing spontaneity as a direct outflow of creativity:

— ‘The freedom to create comes with self-knowledge; but self-knowledge is not a gift. One can be creative without having any particular talent. Creativeness is a state of being in which the conflicts and sorrows of the self are absent, a state in which the mind is not caught up in the demands and pursuits of desire.’ (Id. p. 128. Italics used in original text).

This is a wonderful description of what spontaneity actually is, and how it can be invited. It is pure creativeness and it comes about when the self temporarily is at rest, and when the mind is at peace.

Now, what I would like to discuss here is how we can learn spontaneously. It is agreed that spontaneity serves self-expression and of course especially artistic expression and that it thus is a part of creativity. But can the learning process, the activity of learning, be self-regulated and spontaneous?

I think the question is important for finding an alternative to the endless ‘directed activities’ that pervade the mainstream pre-school curriculum and that I myself in my work in pre-schools found to be not only a terrible bore but also a blunt violation of the child’s self-direction, and thus a form of manipulation. The argument I always got to hear when I criticized directed activities was that ‘children do not learn spontaneously, but have to be led toward study.’ I question this assumption. Perhaps not all children learn spontaneously, so let us inquire why certain don’t, and why others do? What are the conditions for a child to get on a track of spontaneous learning? Is there anything that can be setup for it, or is it impossible to influence the creative flow?

Now, before I am going to answer these questions below, let me report another particularity of Krishnamurti schools. K writes:

— ‘Most children are curious, they want to know; but their eager inquiry is dulled by our pontifical assertions, our superior impatience and our casual brushing aside of their curiosity. We do not encourage their inquiry, for we are rather apprehensive of what may be asked of us; we do not foster their discontent, for we ourselves have ceased to question.’ (Id., p. 41).

The danger when ‘transmitting’ knowledge through the activity of teaching is that the teaching distorts the knowledge; the activity of teaching, thus, must have some quality of humility to be nonobtrusive enough so that the original content, the knowledge itself, is transmitted as is, and not through the personal lens of the teacher.

That sounds quite theoretical and in practice such a clear-cut distinction cannot be done. Yet, there is a way to circumvent the teacher, and it is practiced in Krishnamurti schools. All subjects that are requiring a technique, that are either artistic or belong to the realm of crafting are taught in K’s schools not through teachers but through the artists and craftsmen, or musicians, themselves.

That means a painter will come to paint, a musician to play, and a puppet maker to make puppets in front of the children. The children simply watch, if they like to. They are not tight up on their chairs to watch these people do their art or their music, or their craft. The artists and artisans bring their world to the school, not by teaching eloquently, not by doing anything specific ‘for the children;’ they are simply around, got their workshop or piano, their canvasses or atelier, and they do what they always do. And the children know they are there, and that they can watch them for a moment or longer, if they like to.

This is really a smart way to bring spontaneous learning in without actually bringing it in; through the presence of professionals other than the teachers, children get into a resonance field with each of those more or less charismatic or famous personalities, with each of these exceptionally creative people, with each of these living examples of creativity, and spontaneity.

Thus what happens is that not only do the children learn what they can learn, spontaneously, while being around these artists, but they can also learn how spontaneity manifests in life, how it is used by an artist, by a creator, and how it is built in the creative process and workflow.

This, then, gives another, vaster dimension to spontaneity; it shows that spontaneity is something that we can hardly define, that is invisible, that is not something very common in the daily life of ‘ordinary people,’ and as a second step, then, spontaneity can be shown to be a quality related to spiritual awakening.

Krishnamurti’s teaching posits that spiritual awakening, and spiritual insight are not gained through thought but through the space in between thoughts or the realm that is beyond thought; and accessing this realm, K always said, can only happen spontaneously, and it cannot be invited, or prepared to happen. From this insight into the spontaneous nature of the divine, to open children toward the greater dimension of spontaneity really makes sense, because it prepares them for spiritual awakening.

©2015 Peter Fritz Walter. Some rights reserved.
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Peter Fritz Walter

Written by

Human Potential Media Producer, Philosopher, Political Analyst | | Twitter @pierrefwalter

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade