Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sometime this evening...

This evening, Julie Scelfo's article about woodworking for kids came out in the New York Times and I've posted a link here, Woodworking Classes for Kids, for my for my regular readers to enjoy. The article may bring new readers to the blog, and if you are here for the first time, I would like to direct you to resources. You can find some of my published materials on woodworking education through this blog page, Links to Published Works. You can also find my article about woodworking with kids at the Fine Woodworking website here.

If you are a regular reader, you will have given some thought to the power of hands-on learning in your own life. If you are new here, your own hands extend an invitation to explore your own learning styles and needs. You will notice in your own life that the things you've learned hands-on are best remembered and most deeply acquired. And so the question arises, "If that is so, why would we choose to offer such minimal educational engagement to our children, leaving them bored in school and unacquainted with their own creative power?"

Today in the Clear Spring School wood shop, 7th and 8th graders were making their own t-squares and beginning technical drawing, learning to think and express ideas in pictures. I sent my own drawing of educational scaffolding to Jerome Bruner, 95 who was one of the originators of the concept. He told me that drawings are not that useful to him, but he hopes that my sketch of the principle of educational scaffolding will be useful to others. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but not all are as comfortable thinking in pictures as some may be, and it is not so much a matter of intellect, but of practice. In the wood shop, I'm using the illustration to invite my 7th and 8th grade students to reflect on their own learning.

This afternoon, my first grade woodworking students made looms in preparation for their spring camping trip during which weaving will be one of the camp activities.

To you, I renew my invitation, make, fix and create.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good to see your work being recognized, and to see that the idea is getting a toehold across the country. I hope this brings more readers, and thinkers.

Mario