Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I got a letter from a former student from Arrowmont that Mario will remember. Dr. Jerry Miller is a retired psychiatrist from Baltimore. He wrote in relation to my articles about Woodworking education:

My first 2 jobs were running craft shops in 2 different settlement houses. We knew that there was a connection between arts and crafts and normal child development and also that alienated and angry kids could connect through crafts. However, we didn't understand much about why.

It is interesting and disappointing that with so much anecdotal evidence about the the positive effects of working with the hands on the emotional wellbeing and development of children and adults, that there has been so little scientific investigation to prove and explore "why." The real challenge may be that understanding the value of handwork would undermine the illusion of superiority held by those who work exclusively within the verbal or written realm. The question they must face is "why investigate something that will reveal my latent sense of inadequacy?"

And yet, there are those like Dr. Jerry Miller who have lived their lives in that realm and have arrived at their own understanding of the Wisdom of the Hands.

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