From Part to Whole

From Part to Whole

When our students explore anything, whether it be a toy or a tactile diagram, they have to start with parts and thereby discover the whole item. We often refer to the old poem about a group of blind men encountering an elephant. We all watch our students gaining a greater understanding when we allow them to explore all the parts of something. Think of a young child and a car. They might only ever touch the car seat. Have they had the opportunity to climb throughout the car and find all of the buttons and switches? Have they touched the texture difference between the car’s seat and floor? Have they explored the exterior of the car and found the wheels, tires, bumpers, door handles, windows, etc? It becomes our responsibility to allow our students to explore the parts so they can make that picture whole just as students who can see use their eyes to take in the entire car and all of those parts.

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