Thursday, January 20, 2011

snow day...

My school is canceled today due to snow. Not a whole lot of snow yet, but enough to make driving conditions hazardous, and it is still falling and will be throughout the day.

As you may know, my hand-centric view (as contrasted with the normal brain-centric view) of nearly everything keeps me thinking and I want to state things as clearly and accurately as possible. The subject often dominates my lucid dreaming state, but then I awaken disappointed that I can't state things as clearly as I had dreamed them.

The hands and brain co-evolved simultaneously as a completely integrated behavioral and developmental system. I had it better in my lucid state, and this draws heavily on Hand author Frank Wilson for inspiration.

I apologize to my readers who are gun and 2nd amendment enthusiasts for hammering this one point, but the following is just too much to ignore. A Nebraska State Senator believes that teachers should carry guns in the classroom, both for deterrent of gun violence and in case they need to blast any students that may come guns ablaze into their own classrooms. I have a great deal of difficulty getting my hands around this. Allow Teachers To Carry Guns? That's The Nebraska Solution

Also in the news is an article that claims that Americans are missing crucial critical thinking skills... like those you might acquire in wood shop. 45% Of Students Don't Learn Much In College Can it be that those wanting teachers to carry guns had missed out on development of some important critical thinking skills?

Back when manual training was first started in American schools (Calvin Woodward at Washington University and John Runkle at MIT) the idea was that by neglecting children's hands-on learning of physical reality, schools left students impaired in critical thinking and reasoning skills. Wood shop was their proposed fix. The idea was that by providing a firm foundation through the making of real things with real, tangible, physical materials, and real tools, constructive engagement in real reality would result. Students would become better engineers, better doctors, and better scientists as a result of working with their hands in real tools-based manipulation of real materials. We crapped out on wood shops and other hands-on learning over the last 20 years and what we see is the result.

I have been reading Vandewalker's The Kindergarten in American Education, 1923. The Kindergarten movement in American schools brought music, dance, the arts, an interest in manual training, bright colors, gardening, potted plants, an interest in nature as a foundation for science, and all the beautifying elements to American classrooms. You can look at the standardized testing movement and watch all that evaporate before our eyes.

First we make schools inhumane, neglecting children's creative power, then we propose putting real firepower in the hands of their teachers for the coup de grâce on American education. Can you see why some of us have serious concerns that we have become a nation of idiots and pinheads? Make, fix, create.

1 comment:

  1. Doug, see the article in today's Raleigh News and Observer about two of North Carolina's congressional delegation who will be carrying guns. This is insane.