Wm Brown

Eli Whitney Museum

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Bill Brown began teaching in the first generation of Head Start while an undergraduate at Kenyon College. He taught in Borneo as a Peace Corps volunteer. He trained as a Social Worker at Columbia and directed the Children’s Aid Society’s programs for handicapped children in New York. In New Haven, he apprenticed with cabinet maker/designer/philosopher Normand Methot.

Mr Brown is the Museum's principal educator and prefers design and direct instruction to all of his other responsibilities.

Late to discover the depth of his dyslexia, Mr Brown studies the ways in which inefficient classroom learners adapt to understand and express themselves themselves. He is a student of alternatives to text reading: direct decoding of mechanics, art, natural forces (water, wind, gravity) and nature.

Bill focuses on the learning thresholds of 9 year olds: the age at which 3 dimensional construction, history and geography begin to make sense. Nine is also an age at which a child's critical self assessments are still fluid and may be constructively influenced. Bill's classes address broad themes usually with an emphasis on sensory learning rather than on abstract concepts.

While his programs are organized to include a roster of essential experiments, they endeavor to encourage open-ended resolution and independent discovery. Apprentices share in the development and leadership of the workshops. A valued mechanism divides the class into small groups which work to design fresh solutions to new challenges.


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