Tuesday, January 20, 2009

More craft education in Finland

Richard Bazeley, wood shop teacher in Australia found the following quote to be quite meaningful from Elisabeth Garber's paper:
Mason and Houghton call on the work of Schon and Sternberg & Caruso to support their conclusion that knowledge is gained through working with the hands and that practical knowledge helps in making decisions. Their conclusion affirms what Finnish Department of education Official Takala said, "You learn to think using your hands and you go deeper in your brain." It seems unnecessary to say that this dimension of craft education should not be lost, and moreover, that it should be further researched and appreciated in the hierarchies of what is valued as learning in schools.
The funny thing, of course, is that those who work with their hands know the truth of this, but many who don't would never find the evidence or discussion to be meaningful enough to make necessary changes in education. We are either open and observant of the intellectual dimensions of our hands, or we are not. So, of course we are singing to the choir. But if more and more people become observant of their hands and appreciative of their contributions to learning and intelligence, we will make changes in education. Our children will be wiser, more intelligent and happier when we give their hands greater exercise in learning and making.

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