Tag Archives: development

Pull out all the stops

At first blush the German words der Korkenzieher – “corkscrew” – and der Erzieher – “educator” – would seem to have little in common other than their spellings. But break them down into their parts and there is an interesting connection: they both have to do with bringing something up. In the corkscrew case, that something is a cork and the “bringing up” is quite concrete. In the educator case, that something is a child or children and the “bringing up” refers to the more abstract notion of “raising” the children to a higher level – be it intellectual, social, emotional, physical, behavioral, etc.

Here are two things I like about this connection. First, when you think about educating as being like using a corkscrew, it implies that development is unlikely to be linear. There will be twists and turns and you will come to the same place repeatedly, but as you grow, you navigate this place with a greater level of skill or ease.

Second, imagine a sommelier wielding a corkscrew, ready to open a bottle of wine. The wine is presented to the customer with respect. Time is taken to look, smell and taste (and even to describe the “feel” in the mouth); to consider and then detail its stellar and signature qualities. The process is seen as important because the contents are important. What if educators wielded their tools to make the learning process one that respected all learners? If educators were given the time to discern in all pupils their distinctive and special talents? If there was a focus both on what there was to learn and on how students might learn it best? Who knows what rare vintages we could uncover?!

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Negative growth?

Since fostering growth is a key part of what I do professionally, I learned the words die Entwicklung and entwickeln – “development” and “to develop” soon after I moved to Germany. What I didn’t notice until this morning is that in both languages the words for “development” are prefixed with something that typically indicates a negation of the meaning of the stem. For instance, this is the definition of “de-” from the Cambridge dictionary: “used to add the meaning ‘opposite’, ‘remove’, or ‘reduce’ to a noun or verb.” Duden offers a number of meaning for ent- : “something is undone or returned to its original state, the removal or displacement of something, or taking something away.” The German Language page of about.com relates it to the English prefixes “de-” and “dis-” and gives its meaning as “away from.”

Now “*velop” appears in both “develop” and “envelop” but it is not currently a standalone word with a meaning that can be negated (Google gives the etymology as arising from Latin “dis- ‘un-’ + a second element of unknown origin found also in envelop,” which became the French word développer – “to unfold, unfurl). Wickeln, on the other hand, is a standalone word with the meaning, according to Pons, “to wrap something around something” and colloquially “to change a baby’s diaper.” This is a rather productive stem with one word from the family, einwickeln, being one possible translation for “to envelop.”

When I think about development or die Entwicklung now, I will pay even more attention to how it must involve paring away and replacement rather than simply accretion of the new.

Tagged , , , , , , ,
Advertisements
Ray's Musings

Mostly Music Mixed With Miscellaneous Mayhem

virtuelles Migrationsmuseum

DOMiDs Blog zum Virtuellen Migrationsmuseum

Hamburg für Anfänger

Leben und (ver)lieben in Hamburg

Deutsch lernen mit Deutschlernerblog

Deutsch lernen - Hörverstehen, Leseverstehen, Wortschatz, Grammatik, Übungen, Prüfungen, Schreiben, Quiz, Musik, Videos, Bilder

a free state of mind

Thoughts from the Journey...

The Diversity Dividend

Doing Diversity Differently

Lirean

Smart language learning

Leading with Trust

Trust is the essential ingredient for leadership success.

Akademie für geile Texte

Literaturnobelp-Reis, Basmati, 3min

Idol Musings

Ray's ruminations, rants and reflections on his American Idol addiction

The Elementalist Epoch

Stories and Poems from the mind of Tristan Nagler

Reality Swipe

Welcome to the Reality Swipe experience... Brace yourself