This week I attended a presentation at my grand daughter’s school in Canberra, Australia. Her Grade 1 class was asked to create a museum to display an old item from home and explain how it was used.
Technology was a major topic for display, and telephones were the most frequently displayed items. These included several analog phones, and even one early cellular phone. In Jacob’s family, “my daddy used this telephone to call people and some of his friends about 20 years ago.”
Abby displayed an old camera that belonged to her father. As she explains, it “took a picture you couldn’t see on the screen,” and you had to “wait ages” to get the prints back.
Marlie chose a VHS cassette player that her parents used about 30 years ago. “Today we use Netflix, Foxtel and DVD’s” to watch the same programs.
Going back further in time, Amelia displayed an RCA transistor radio that was purchased 60 years ago. Interestingly, she included some comments on the relative cost of technology in the 1950’s, noting that the price of the radio was equivalent to about 3 weeks of salary.
Other students chose items that reflected their cultural history. Ryan displayed a photo of Buddha who “used to be a real person, but now he is dead.”
This was an educational “window” into the minds of six year olds. They are already developing an appreciation of the past and anticipating what the future may bring.