[Foundation-l] Reconsidering the policy "one language - one Wikipedia"

Samuel Klein meta.sj at gmail.com
Thu Jun 24 19:21:12 UTC 2010

Hi Milos,

On Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 2:28 PM, Milos Rancic <millosh at gmail.com> wrote:

> Writing dumb articles because of thinking that children are dumb is
> dumb. And not just dumb, but deeply ageist and discriminatory.

I don't think that either simplified or children's projects should be
"dumbed down".  Ottava's essays on Kubla Khan and Intimations of
Immortaility recently noted on this list are examples of quite
detailed and intelligent essays written in (somewhat) simplified

> Considering, for example, Piaget's [1] theory, timeline of cognitive
> development is:
> * The earliest usual learning of writing is around 5.
> * At around 8 children are able to read without problems.
> * At around 10 children cognitive system is almost the same as adult.
> * Between 13 and 15... there are young adults.

And we can all look to our own personal development for anecdotes.

I think it would be appropriate to serve a few audiences, say 5 to 15,
but welcoming readers of all ages:
 - younger children learning to read (compare Britannica's Young
Children's Encyclopedia, 16 volumes with images and short
descriptions, intended to introduce reading)
 - older children and adults looking for a clear, concise illustration
of topics[1] (compare Encarta and World Book, which targeted high
school students, but had features for children of 7 and 8).
 - children and others looking for interesting new topics, trivia, and
projects to try.  this might work best for a project that combines
material from wikiversity, wikibooks, wikipedia, wikiquote, and other
projects.  (Compare Arthur Mee's 20-volume Book of Knowledge, which is
probably described well as a "mix of all Wikimedia projects, with
songs and games, written for children" and despite its quaint language
is still recommended by various homeschooling groups as easy to use in
everyday learning.[2])

Milosh writes:
> finding relevant pedagogues who would lead child contributors.

That's a fine idea.  Also finding active middle- and high-school
students interested in leading such a project.  There are some
examples already, from the Grundschul wiki to the Children's
Encyclopedia of Women, of specific groups of students starting a
project intended to be a global space to collaborate.


[1] This addresses Ting's point that some articles aren't so clear in
their introductions.  That's not a question of age, but of what you
expect the first few sentences to tell you.

[2] http://www.hstreasures.com/bookofknowledge.html


'Wikipedia : ... derived from the Hawaiian wiki, "edited at high
speed", and the Greek παῖdh, "by children".'
     - from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiSpeak

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