Specials and Community Events of the 1980s

In the final years of LaL, many of the community activities and specials from the 1970s remained. Yet students’ ages were younger than in earlier years: programs like “Just Beginnings” catered to 21-36 month olds (and their parents) and the “Advanced Studies” program advertised to children up to 13 years old. In the previous decade, LaL included afterschool sections for high school students.

While the ages of the students differed, the focus of the programs—and especially the Saturday Specials—stayed the same. Events like “Roman Comedy” or “The Greeks of Athens” let children explore the history of artistic expression. Other programs, such as “Great Paint,” let children learn and practice different artistic styles, encouraging students to make as wide a canvas as possible for their art by painting on walls, floors, and even on aprons they would take home.

Do you think you would have wanted to attend one of these events? If so, which one? (have images of the various calendars) Your parents would have needed to sign up fast. With 8 students for every teacher, spots filled up fast, and there was often a waitlist.

Look at the shedules below: what do you notice about the art style? What about the wording? Compare it to the schedules from previous years; what do you notice? Do you like the changes that Learning about Learning made?

Learning about Learning also kept some key aspects from the 1970s into the 1980s, such as the focus on students presenting their own work. Programs like the 1976 Brainstormers had students lead a seminar on ways to see and analyze television— while other students in the program ran a “Holiday Present Planning Service'' for others in the community. The 1982 Futuristics group gave a glimpse into the future in an exhibit of children’s ideas and inventions. From marvels like sending a message via video to others, or a kitchen with automatic junk food— here, children were the experts on the future and their world. They were empowered to explore their surroundings. What do you think about the future they envisioned? Were they far off?