Monday, March 12, 2012

back to work...

The photo above shows my box making class last month in Des Moines.

I have been off work for two weeks due to my injury, and today managed to get back to the shop to do prep work for getting the kids back to work. I have been trying to start a tradition of book making at Clear Spring School so that kids can make their own travel journals prior to the start of spring travel school that takes them off into real world studies. Each year the books are refined, the method is improved, etc. My hope has been that bookmaking becomes a regular classroom activity over time, so this year the bookmaking will take place in the 4th, 5th and 6th grade classroom instead of the wood shop.

Yesterday my wife and I attended a community musical talent show. It was a beautiful reminder of the value of the arts. We were pleased and impressed to see such talent from our own small county. There are educators who are constantly attending the bottom line, and then there are the arts (including woodshop) that allow children and students to arise to full human capacity. One thing was not to be missed. There were hands involved deeply in the making of it all. Even the vocal performers would not have been so infinitely expressive of emotion ha their hands been still.

Last night 60 Minutes, a CBS Television News Program, featured Khan Academy.Can you imagine a time in which all those things that teachers struggle to teach learning resistant kids are taught by computers through individualized methods offered free of charge, and schools themselves become what they were intended by Comenius and others to become in the first place? Centers for the development of the arts! Here's what Comenius said on the subject...
"Theory," says Vives, "is easy and short, but has no result other than the gratification that it affords. Practice on the other hand, is difficult and prolix, but is of immense utility." Since this is so, we should diligently seek out a method by which the young may be easily led to the practical application of natural forces, which is to be found in the arts. -- John Amos Comenius (1592-1670)
Make things of useful beauty, make music, fix and create...

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