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So various models exist surrounding what is truth....or "right". I tell
kids (and adult students) the different models that I know exist
(briefly)...and then explain how we will use the language in the parameters
of the class. It is good for students to understand that these parallel
ways of understanding things and labeling things exist in life as well as
in art. Much like Woody explaining light theory.....I did this even with my
very young kids....and they had no problem with it.
I spell grey with an e. More often it is spelled with an a. Gray. Both
are correct. We talk about both spellings and land on the one that the
curriculum ascribes to....these days...gray. I call brown a color....but
while that is accepted in many schools of thought much curriculum calls it
a neutral. Here I think is a key for helping. Kids do need some
consistency and perhaps therein lies some of the benefit of having
something in place district wide (or school wide) to refer to. I advise my
student teachers that the curriculum guidelines should be their guide to
how to use vocabulary. What we call color terms is more arbitrary than
"right" and the critical issue is if we understand the "effects" that are
achieved with them. Don't have a curriculum..? Find one and use that as a
framework for a guide.
The discussion is beneficial in that it helps us understand the subtleties
of language ....and further our own understanding of the complexities of
what we teach. An additional complexity is that truth changes....as new
layers of understanding are peeled......just what we needed.
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