Wednesday, July 20, 2011

gesture the long neglected sister of language

This article describes the relationship between gesture and language and illustrates its use in increasing learning effectiveness. Do You See What I'm Saying? The Role of Gestures in Learning July 2000 by Sara Latta

The point is that even without going so far as to start woodworking programs again in schools, we can begin testing the strategic implementation of the hands in simple ways. When teachers use gesture, when students use gesture in response, learning effectiveness grows. When the role of the hands proves itself, the rationale for so many other things becomes clear. Wood shop, the arts, physical education, laboratory science, outdoor studies, and music are each important means through which to purposefully engage the hands and hearts of learners. And what is there in that not to like, unless you've spent your whole life counting beans and have lost track of the essential qualities of human culture.

Today in the wood shop, I'm installing inlay in business card holders and boxes. This afternoon, I'm making enchiladas for a potluck ESSA board meeting.

An interesting thing I discovered on my visit to Vikingsholm at Lake Tahoe last week was that Native Americans and Scandinavians shared some design motifs. On the beam, you can see a basketry motif painted on hand hewn beams in the main living room. You will find the same design used as an inlay on my boxes. It is a small world and after all, I AM half Norwegian. But for many years I thought I was using an American Indian motif, not one so universal in origins. You will have to study the beam closely above the dragon to see it. The pattern in the photo is applied, whereas the pattern I use in my boxes is composed of small pieces of American hardwood.

Make, fix and create.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There are theories about Vikings having made it to this continent long before Columbus, so the shared design motifs might be no accident.

Mario