Monday, May 14, 2012

boats and boxes...

We are nearing the end of the school year, and today was my seniors' last day in wood shop. The high school students are making wooden boxes. The 4th, 5th and 6th grade students are making sail boats as part of their study of the oceans.

I want to touch again on the relationship between anschauung and fertigkeit, two concepts central to Pestalozzi's methods of education. Anschauung refers to undifferentiated consciousness, the ability to look closely and fully without the interference of language, which automatically engages primarily the left brain alone, and isolates one's view from the full breadth of that which is seen. Fertigkeit refers to unrestrained skilled action in response to what one learns. Ebeneezer Cooke, editor of the 1898 translation of Pestalozzi's book How Gertrude Teaches Her Children, wrote of the close relationship between anschauung and fertigkeit as follows:
Knowing and doing are so closely connected that if one ceases, the other ceases with it." Doing has a double function; by doing thought is expressed, and by doing thought is also gained and made clear. It is Anschauung, by experience, through the sense of touch or active movement; impression and expression combined. The whole psychological sequence of Pestalozzi is impression, clear idea or knowledge and expression. Observe, think, do and know. One kind of Anschauung, he (Pestalozzi) says, Letter VII, is obtained "by working at one's calling". He connects observation and experience.
The point, of course as it relates to this blog, is that we learn best, most thoroughly and to greatest lasting effect when we learn hands-on through real experience.

All of this can be tested by the utmost authority. You.

Make, fix and create...

No comments:

Post a Comment