Monday, October 24, 2011

Impulse to be Occupied...

J. H. G. Heusinger, in Germany wrote a pamphlet in 1797 which could be translated "How to Make Use of the Child's Active Impulse to Be Occupied"... His works were carefully studied by Froebel and then by Otto Salomon in the development of educational Sloyd.
"From the sixth year on, the children are taught from books. Is it at all surprising that they think that it is from books alone that knowledge is to be obtained? A bright child has therefore no other desire than to get books and to study out of them. The acquisition of knowledge by his own observation by his own efforts is something that our present education does not teach him. This is left for after school hours, because it is still believed that the teaching of facts should be the main feature of all educational systems."
Heusinger believed that "manual work should be a principal means of education as it satisfies the child's natural desire for creating and imitating."

The following is from Duke Peter of Oldenburg, 1796... "he who is free must understand how to use his liberty, how to busy the mind and employ the hands."

Dr. Conrad Michelson wrote the following about the good influence of a working school... "I recall one instance of a father who had been an habitual drunkard, and who worked only when urgent necessity drove him to it. His son had joined one of these working schools and busied himself evenings by doing some little manual work. One evening the father became interested in the son's work, and it was not a long time after this that he was encouraged to take a hand in it. He has since become thrifty and useful."

Today in the CSS woodshop, the 4th 5th and 6th grade students began making Civil War style checker sets. We did block printing of the checker boards, and cut the checkers from octagonal stock using hand saws. The printed fabric will be sewn to make a carrying pouch for their checkers.

Make, fix and create...

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