Several years have now elapsed since I first became aware that I had accepted, even from my youth, many false opinions for true, and that consequently what I afterward based on such principles was highly doubtful; and from that time I was convinced of the necessity of undertaking once in my life to rid myself of all the opinions I had adopted, and of commencing anew the work of building from the foundation... – René Descartes, Meditation I, 1641One of the things that happen when we work with wood or other real materials in our efforts to craft useful and beautiful objects is that we encounter physical reality and are forced to learn from it, not simply accepting those things that are described by others. Misquoting Descartes, he proclaimed, "I tinker, therefore I am..." Cast doubt, and see what you can catch from it... the truth perhaps?
So I raise the question, and cast the doubt, is education designed to put us to sleep? Or to awaken us to a world of exploration and discovery? As Jacob Bronowski said, "the hands are the cutting edge of the mind." Still the hands, still the intellect, and stifle the imagination.
According to a shocking article in today's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, my home town's public high school has been measured by Diplomas Count as having a graduation rate of 55.2%. That is an alarming figure, and while there may be some anomalies on which to lay the blame, it is obvious that our public education is not doing enough to encourage students to stay in school. According to Sterling Lloyd, senior research associate,
"If students have information about all the opportunities that exist after high school that might encourage students to persist. They'll see the connection between a high school education and future job opportunities."I have been an advocate for mentoring and internship programs to engage students in outside the school learning opportunities, and have discovered that I have not done enough.
Make, fix and create...