Sunday, September 05, 2010

Friederich Karl Biederman

Biederman was influential in the manual arts movement in Germany, and the following is from 1852.
Since practical work is consistent with the nature of youth, there is no particular need of awakening an interest by artificial or compulsory means. Pedagogy itself will accomplish through practical instruction that which it conceives as its first duty; namely, to secure by investigation a correct knowledge of the true characteristics of its pupils.

Individuality presupposes a distinct self-activity, and can never be the result of receptivity alone. Every teacher has known boys who were remarkable for their dullness while at school, and who, when put in other surroundings, became active and useful, while some of the so-called excellent pupils grew to be lazy and unprincipled men.
And so, what you find here is not anything new. Manual arts education began in Germany in the same way it began in the US, the UK, France, and so many other countries. There were two major voices, that of industry, demanding trained labor from outside the apprenticeship model, so they could pay less for it, and that of education itself, which recognized through the teachings of Rousseau, Commenius, Pestalozzi, Froebel and Uno Cygnaeus (Finland) that the greatest method for engaging children in learning was to engage their hands in making.

I want my readers to pay particular attention to the last line from Biederman's quote. Think Wall Street, and those highly educated persons, who, lacking in hands on experience were quite willing to plunder the American economy for their own short term gain. They learned nothing from the experience but to try, try again.

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