Thursday, August 12, 2010

pedagogical woodwork

We wonder whether to present a smorgasbord of crafts to our students thus allowing students to touch lightly on each one, or whether it would be most appropriate to present just one and allow students to become immersed in the development of skill. Assuming that it was impractical for schools to present a wide array of crafts, each requiring trained teachers and specialized equipment, Otto Salomon produced the chart above to compare the advantages of woodworking with other crafts for pedagogical purposes. But there is more.

I was reading an article by Richard Jagels last night in an old copy of Wooden Boat that "Wood Can Last for 40 Million Years." Jagels article reminded me that the whole history of our planet is inscribed in wood, from our buildings to our utensils, to the natural environment. He had visited Axel Hieberg Island in the Canadian High Arctic where trees of ancient forests have been preserved for 40 million years. Given a chunk, and some tools, I could make something beautiful. To become knowledgeable concerning wood, is to be in touch with it all. Click on the chart above for a larger view.

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