Gandalf is an Old Person – And He Can Kick Your Trash

I believe we are missing out in dismissing the “apprentice model” as outdated and old fashioned. We have moved on! We have made progress! Right? But let’s examine it a little more closely. Under an apprentice model, a single (or very small number) was taken under the wing of a master. They too would have been trained by a previous master and back and back and so on. In her/him is contained the collected knowledge of all those previous minds. A culmination, if you will. (Now, I do understand this is under the most romantic or idyllic ideologies here. The “master’s” knowledge in question is very much dependent on their own application and dedication to their tutelage and desire to improve upon it. But, for the sake of this argument, we are going to assume they are a good master, even if they are not the best, per say). Now, under this model, they are trying to pass on their legacy, or at the very least, their knowledge so that it is not lost. A personal investment in a dedicated subject should not be underestimated. Secondly, another vastly important point is the number. Often, a master would take an apprentice or sometimes a small group, but never more than they felt they could personally handle. This allowed for focused, personalized attention where they could adapt to a student’s specific learning style and accelerate their growth. Despite the naysayers against homeschooling, there can be little refuted proof to the accelerated education the best of those environments provide.

I am also becoming a strong believer in cross-generational teaching. We have segmented society into so many pigeon-holed factions, it is no wonder there is a disconnect with so many different groups. The old go in a specific place, the working class in another. Even elementary school is broken up into highly specific segments: five-year-olds, six-year-olds, seven-year-olds…

Perhaps this is just a pipedream, but I love the idea where we can learn from “experts” that exist around us, even today. And they in turn would feel more engaged with the world and feel useful, needed, and valued. I am the youngest person at my library, but I love learning and becoming friends with my co-workers who could easily be my mom or grandma age-wise. I’ve gone with my 60 something year old boss to a David Archuletta concert. There is just so much to learn, and so many connections to be had that are being lost and squandered because we aren’t looking for them.





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