The Milk Project LO25556

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 10/31/00

Replying to LO25517 --

Dear Organlearners,

Leo Minnigh <> writes:

>I wish Jessica could stay for a wile in our farm house
>in the east of the Netherlands. She could see all aspects
>of the beginning of milk at the farm of our kind neighbour.

Greetings Leo,

You have expressed a wonderful idea -- to let children experience life
other than that which they experience daily. For example, how many
children have experienced life on a farm as you have described with so
such beauty and nostalgia?

Why should children experience more than their usual daily experiences?
As a high school teacher some twenty years ago I soon began to notice that
some pupils adapted easier to changes than others. In those days the
discipline CAS (Complex Adaptive Systems) was not yet known.

Curiosity took hold of me and I began to look for some relationship
between scholastic performances and adaptivity. Whereas the scholastic
performances were quantified (one of the dreary jobs of teaching ;-), I
had to rely on my subjective perception of the the pupil's adaptivity in
terms of the pupil's responses to various kinds of influences like
difficult teachers, demanding peers, dramatic events, etc. I had too much
on my mind to actually design and normalise "adaptivity tests". I simply
classified the pupils as high/medium/low adaptors. There was little

I then searched for a relationship between IQ and adaptivity. Again there
was little correlation. Kids with high adaptivity ranged from IQ's lower
than 100 to IQ's as high as 145. The same with kids with low adaptivity.
So I began to question through dialogue pupils with clearly high and
clearly low adaptivity, looking for clues. It did not take me long to
become deeply under the impression that high/low adaptive pupils
correlated much better with rich/poor variety of experiences than with
scholastic performance or IQ. (Think of Ashby's Law of Requisite Variety
which was also not known at that time.) Since then, for the next three
years, I tried to expose pupils to a great variety of experiences. In
fact, this very drive led the next year to my involvement with the first
emergence of a class (the 7B's) into a LO. (In those the concept of a LO
was also not yet known, although I will never forget my vivid experiences
and subsequent tacit knowledge of it.)

Dear Leo, I wonder how many fellow learners know that the region
(Overijsel) where your farm is situated, had been the craddle for one of
the most dramatic emergences of an educational system in the entire
history of human kind many centuries ago in which the person of Geert
Groote played a key role. Will you please be so kind as to tell us
something about this remarkable emergence and perhaps about Geert Groote

(One day I will ask Andrew Cambell to do the same for Oxford ;-)

Whenever I get some information on this emergence to study I often become
excited because of perceiving the abundance of emerging LOs (tacitly)
during that time. Such information is very difficult for me to get hold of
and I suspect it will be the same for the vast majority of fellow
learners. Perhaps many fellow learners will become so interested in that
region that they will come and explore it and stay some time with you too

I have my own hypothesis why this emergence happened. Curiously enough, it
has much to do with children and the difference between a simple task and
a complex project!

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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