Friday, August 22, 2008

The September/October 2008 issue of Wooden Boat has a great article abut a program in Bronx, New York, "Rocking the Boat," in which inner city youth develop skills, integrity and craftsmanship, making wooden boats. The finished boats are put to use promoting environmental conservation and stewardship. From the article, something you may know from your own experience:
Subjects like geometry that might seem abstract in school suddenly take on real-life meaning when the task at hand is to puzzle out the complicated shape of a stem rabbet or cut the transom bevels for a 14' Whitehall pulling boat.
The philosopher's stone in education is the hand. Engage the hands and you engage enthusiasm for learning. We ignore the education of the hands at the risk of civilization. The interesting thing is that no craftsman can make a thing without describing his or her inner most values, and what we see when their work is done is descriptive of inner being. There are those who would invest in gated communities to keep people out. Those who are wise invest in the lives of young people, offering challenges that require effort and skill and lead to renewal of culture and community values.

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