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Overview of the DNA timeline project

Kindi's holistic approach to curriculum, synthesizing, science, history, math, geography, and art
by

Mike Gormaly

on 22 August 2013

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Transcript of Overview of the DNA timeline project

Actor/Agent
Culture
Technology
Technol
Geog
Agent/Actor
Chronicle
icle
Geography
graphy
Te
Agent/Actor
Geogr

Actor
Agent/Actor
Technology
Chronicle
Geo
Chronicle
Geography
Actor/Agent
Technology
Chronicle/Chronology
Geoghraphy/Geology
D
N
A
We chose the atom, the basic building block
of the universe and DNA, the blue print of
the human body, to represent time and
human history. Much in this metaphor is fitting
and captures the things we emphasize in this
course and is seen both in human dynamics and
the dynamic tensions in history.
It also represents Kindi's holistic approach to learning, combining the humanities, art, science and math.
DATES
NAMES
ACTIONS
Note that the Double Helix on the DNA strand is binary, and we chose to make each side represent the major paradigm focuses that individuals and societies tend towards:
creative, intuitive verses the didactic and analytic. This captures the tension in history. The pendulum seems to swing from extreme to extreme: from the Reformation, a period in which people were so zealous for God they were willing to kill en mass or die en mass to the Enlightenment in which religion was considered by many to be superstition, or from the over emphasis of logic and rational thinking during the Age of Reason to the overemphasis on passion and intuition during the Romantic Period.
This is not just a historical or societal construct but one experienced in day to day life: in our small groups, classes, and friednships.
The atom begins and ends are timeline and we've chosen to represent family. Why? The atom is the basic building block of the universe and ubiquitous, and like the atom, the family is the common thread throughout history. In every tribe, kingdom, and culture, the family is the key component--regardless of religion, political system, or power paradigm--that all these human system are built on. Further, it represents one of Kindi’s primary principles, family involvement is key to student success and an individual’s general well being in life.
The Atoms Family
Why the atom?
The atom symbolizes science, the individual, and the family. Since the Renaissance is considered the birth of analytical thinking and the recognition of the importance of the individual, not just as a cog in the societal machine, but one who has worth in and of him or herself; the part divided from the whole, the atom was perfect to capture both the increasing importance of science and individual in history.
Why the family?
Like the atom, the building block of the univese, the family is the building block of all societies throughout history. In every tribe, kingdom, and culture, the family is the key component--regardless of religion, political system, or power paradigm that moves history forward. Further, it represents one of Kindi’s primary principles, family involvement is key to student success and an individual’s general well being in life. Therefore, we have strategically placed the atom both at the beginning and end of the timeline.
At the beginning of the year, we
read A Whole New Mind by Daniel
Pink which discussed the differences
between the right brained thinker and the
left brain thinker; the authors thesis is though people use both sides, they tend to lean one way or another; Pink illustrated how this was also true of various periods of history.
But the ideal and the true brilliance of history occurs when the two work together
to a common end.
Now "things are in the saddle and ride mankind."~Ralph Waldo Emerson
The DNA timline follows the major movements of history with an eye on the paradigm swings from left brain to right brain.
Since the Renaissance was characterized by a renewal of the Classical Period, we begin the year by focusing on Plato who emphasized the unseen, intuitive sense of perfection that he believed all men were born with.
The bases of the the DNA are as follows: Adenine-Thymine & Guanine-Cytosine
These must always be used in the same pairs.
...Aristotle was the philosopher of science who emphasized breaking "things" into parts and analyzing them in order to understand them. The Greeks were actually the first to conceive of the atom.
We also incorporated the DNA's base pairs into our timeline version by using common acronyms.
Aristotle captures the left brained paradigm.
And just as the bases in actual DNA have to link together-- Adenine <->Thymine and
Guanine<->Cytosine--we also have pairs exclusive to one another and are central to every major movement in history:
The pairs in our DNA are as follows: A is for Actor and it is always linked with T which is Technolgy because it is the actor who makes history, and he or she does so by creating key new technologies that change the world or they use them to their advantage.
Furthermore, G is for geography and it is always linked with C which is for Chronicle because when we study literature we generally study it based on region.
This paradigm gave us a framework to understand history and also the dynamics of the class and their small group work.
Plato is
a poster philosopher for the right brained.
Geo
Chronicle
We chose the Vitruvian man to begin and end the timeline because the Renaissance is also considered the birth of humanism, a time where we first became aware of the principles that direct human relationships and the basic human rights of all people. But there is a difference between how he is exhibited at the beginning and the end.
If you look at the clock on this end of the timeline, rather than man being in the forefront, the atom and clock is; what began as self awareness, the birth of humanism, has become an obsession with science and technology.
The student part of this project has been to create a link on this timeline for one of the time periods found on Prezi page. The link had to have key art, literature, inventions, documents and discoveries from their period and to create a newspaper for the wall.
In terms of the Chronicle they have created, the were given a list of 50 to a 100 articles about events that took place during their designated period of history and choose the most significant which were limited by an 11X17 inch front page.
Full transcript