What We Can Learn From Caine’s Arcade

by Ron LaBrusciano

This is an amazing story.  It speaks to the value of resourcefulness that is missing in the American education of children.  You may have heard the story of Caine Monroy’s Arcade on National Public Radio or been one of more than a million people who have watched Nirvan Mullick’s short film on YouTube. Here it is:

Somehow this child has either escaped technology and video games or leads a life that balances  play and learning of other kinds.  No fancy technology, no expensive arts materials, no programmed learning or instruction evident here – just an inquisitive child, an understanding adult, permission to play and create, and lots of boxes and throwaways.

Caine Monroy teaches us that we must sustain creativity and the joy of learning for its own sake. When we lose the opportunity to play with ideas and freely create we lose the essence of what makes us human. As Educators For Sustainability we must face the fact that curiosity and wonder can not be designed but must be fostered and allowed the space to flourish.

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