Sunday, March 06, 2011

Homer Lane and sloyd

A reader mentioned that his research indicated that Homer Lane had attended sloyd teacher training in Boston and had taught sloyd before working with penal reform in Detroit and founding the Little Commonwealth School in the UK.  He was described by A.S. Neill as being the primary inspiration for Summerhill. These may present interesting areas for reader investigation.

The idea that engagement in crafts was essential to the full development of character was widespread amongst the proponents of manual arts. Dr. Georg Kerschensteiner, superintendent of schools in Munich, Germany said:
"We might say, that the useful man must be the predecessor of the ideal man. Everyone must be able to do some good and thorough work though it be of the simplest kind, of one sort or another. Not till then will he be able to only to satisfy his fellowmen and be of use to his country, but also to make his own life of value to himself. And in the same measure as our lives gain value for ourselves do we attain power to reach a higher stage of culture."
Quite sadly, there are seem to be few educators currently in the US who seem to understand this.

Diane Ravitch was John Stewart's guest on Friday, March 4. It should be watched by everyone interested in the ongoing debate about American education. Stewart's comments prior to the following interview are very much on the mark and the full episode can be viewed through the link above.
In the meantime, Make, fix and create.

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