Manipulation: Why We Need More Of It

Human beings did not evolve by reading books.  They evolved by manually creating and handling tools.  For example, we have evidence of early humans from the arrow heads or sewn-shoes they’ve left behind.  See my entry on the Paisley caves near Paisley, Oregon where the oldest datable evidence of human habitation has been found.

I love books.  There are several thousand books in my home and, yes, most of them have been read by at least one member of the family.  But again, the human brain is best designed to learn through active manipulation of the world around them.  Therefore, more must be done to engage learners through physicality and active manipulation.  We are already starting to move in that direction through touch screen smart devices.  This is a huge leap from the static page of books.  My kids, when they reach college, will demand learning resources far more substantive than are currently available.  Already at home when I open a book, they sometimes want to “manipulate” objects on the pages like they can do with iPad apps.  The business of education will not be serving the needs of learners if we do not redesign learning experiences for what people need: manipulation.  Hence, I believe we need more manipulation.

Just for fun: The root of the word manipulation derives from the Latin word “mani” = hand.  And check out the etymology of the word hand and related words.

About Taylor Halverson

I love learning. I love connecting. I love interdisciplinarity.
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