Wednesday, November 10, 2010

craftsmanship and community

I have a teacher and grad students coming tomorrow from the Clinton School of Public Service to get acquainted with the Wisdom of the Hands program and to visit the Clear Spring School.

These are the points we will be discussing.
  1. Purpose and power of hands on pedagogy?  Tools and busting the myth(s) of academic vs. non-academic learning.
  2. Does CS School provide an image of possibility for our emerging work? What about this school?
  3. Relationships with community?
  4. Specifics of the pedagogy of the hand?
  5. What should we be reflecting on in these times in which our reach for innovation, creativity is discouraged by the instrumentalism of standards-based learning, testing and the pedagogy it commands?
  6. Suggestions for program design for marginalized children in Little Rock through a new kind of learning space?
The first part of the Clinton School  list of query points is easy. As described by Frank Wilson, the brain and hands co-evolved as a behavioral system. Or as expressed by Jacob Bronowski, the hand is the cutting edge of the mind. Isolate the hands from the brain, and you have mindless work. Isolate the brain from the hands, and you have very little real intelligence available to you, as all new intellectual terrain is built through the use of metaphor. Even the capacity to sort and arrange lists of questions like the one above is derived from the functional capacity of the hands. It is a secret we will not keep to ourselves.

In the meantime, and today in the CSS wood shop, 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade students will be making toy cars for our annual holiday distribution. The photo at left is of this morning's class. The photo below is of bandsawn boxes being made by the 7th, 8th and 9th grade students.

1 comment:

John A Arkansawyer said...

As a Little Rocker (Little Rockian?), I'd love to know more about what the Clinton School is thinking.