Thursday, February 22, 2007

It is difficult for human beings to grasp complex concepts without being led through the basic simple premises that lead up to the complexity. Difficult tasks are made easy when simple skills are in place. Abstract concepts may be difficult to understand without first understanding the concrete observations upon which they are based.

Human beings can be capable of incredible insight and creativity, but we arrive at these points through incremental development that is too often ignored in modern education. We think the purpose of schools is to impart knowledge, forgetting that there are levels of knowledge and an objective transcendent of knowledge called wisdom.

Just as a matter of discussion, I suggest the following for you to consider:

Levels of Knowledge--
Knows about.
Knows how.
Can explain it.
Can do it.
Can do it well.
Can do it well and explain it.

You will note that knowledge in its higher forms involves capacities for both action and understanding.

Knowledge comes from a variety of sources…conversation, books, radio, instruction, television, internet, personal observation.
Knowledge may be acquired either directly or from a third party.
Wisdom emerges from reflection on personal and collective experience.
Wisdom involves understanding the relationships between seemingly disparate events, concepts and things.

If we designed our schools to impart wisdom, one of the activities for all students would be woodworking, and the school would look a lot like Clear Spring School.

The drawing above is of Otto Salomon demonstrating the proper posture and stance for sawing in Educational Sloyd.

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