Wednesday, February 22, 2012
One of the distinct advantages of Finnish educational model is a remnant from educational sloyd... personalized or individualized instruction. One-on-one instruction in which a student receives the full attention of the teacher is a powerful tool for engagement in learning. It is very much like what happens when parents or grandparents and children interact in the wood shop.
American education is based on a classroom model, but even though students are arranged in classes in Educational Sloyd, the objective of that arrangement is still personalized instruction. So in Finland schools, at Clear Spring School, children are broken into smaller groups, down to a single child to make certain important lessons are learned in the most effective manner.
One-on-one is how a parent or grandparent will teach a child, as was always the case from the dawn of man. And one of the foolish things we've done as a society is to isolate the old from the young, putting seniors in front of televisions where they relax and withdraw instead of sharing in the transmission of human culture. JD discovered in making friendship boxes with his grandchildren that it was an immensely rewarding experience that should not be kept to himself.
I have always felt that woodworkers are among a select group of human beings who may see a more direct relationship between the hands and learning than may be the case with those educators having grown up in purely academic environments. It is therefore our responsibility to not keep things to ourselves.
Make, fix and create...