Friday, November 04, 2011

day 3 -- class vs. individualized learning

Before I get into the meat of the subject, I want to share two videos that came to me this morning. The first is from a rasp maker in France, Noël Liogier and it shows the interesting relationship between hand and mind. I think you will enjoy seeing how the patterns of the rasp are derived from the geometry of the hand and body.

Richard Burman is a Canadian hand/mind entrepreneur/film maker who has developed the Working Hands Project to further an interest in hands on learning.

You can help his project become further developed by voting for its support at Cuban Hat, where several Canadian documentary film makers are in the running for support. Register and vote for the hands.

The following is more from Otto Salomon's Theory of Educational Sloyd on the advantages of individual teaching.
"Teachers have said they have learned far more from an educational point of view through the teaching of Sloyd, than through the teaching of any other subject. They have, through individual teaching, enjoyed to watch the gradual development of the individual...

In class teaching the rate of progression is fixed according to the estimate of the average capacity of the children, and, as a consequence, the more capable children are told too much and the less capable too little. Instruction in class teaching doesn't accord with the capabilities of individuals who are above or below the average ability of the whole class. Those who are told too much are not trained in forethought, reflection, and self-reliance, their tendency to voluntary exertion and action is thwarted, and where there is no exertion there can be no true development.

Those who, being below the average capacity, are told too little, are either overstrained and get to dislike the work, or are discouraged and disheartened and give up hope of success; and if they do this they may as well for all practical good give the subject up entirely.

It would be far better to do so, as the continuance of it can only have a pernicious effect on the character of the child.

Further, we must recognize the fact that as children have not the same ability in understanding, neither have they in execution. In their manual work children are very unlike. In the execution of the work it is impossible to keep them together in a natural way."
This may seem very abstract to most readers. How can relatively large numbers of students be taught as individuals? Salomon discovered what he called his "Columbus egg." Otto Salomon's Columbus egg was the idea of arranging student projects in sloyd sequentially according to difficulty, complexity, tools used, and skills developed so that the teacher's job would be that of giving individualized instruction when required. Believe it or not, that model can be used in every subject toward the individual learning needs of each child.

As you can see in the photo at left, I have been continuing with my OWS, occupy woodshop movement. It is better than having to be on the streets and it is better than being under the corporate thumb that has done so little for the American people during this time of economic crisis. these boxes are for a customer who buys my boxes for his staff each year at Christmas time. Each has a collection of my boxes.

Make, fix and create...

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