Saturday, August 04, 2012

Finding a close relation to reality...

The following is from Danish Sloyd, published by the Danish Sloyd Association in 1893:
Ever since the train of ideas of the Middle Ages was discarded by the spirit of modern times, the aim of education has been to get more and more into a close relation to reality. Life, not learning has become the aim of education.  A one-sided theoretic action on the mind of the child has been replaced step by step by a more general development of human nature. For the last three hundred years there has scarcely  been any prominent spokesman for pedagogical interests who has not insisted upon the importance of training the body besides that of the mind, and upon the value of practice as the base of theory.

Already, Amos Comenius (1592-1671)in his plan of a school for the children of the people, says that the pupils ought to become acquainted with all the more important trades that they not be too ignorant of what takes place in life and also that it may become easier to decide in which direction each individual is principally drawn by his natural propensities.
It appears that American education got off the track, becoming obsessed by standardized testing and measuring performance, forgetting that relevance to real life is essential to sustaining a child's interest and enthusiasm for learning. The school woodshop was one of those ways that the principles put forth by all modern educators were made active. The loss of woodworking in schools is a symptom of the failure of American education to adhere to the principles of sound pedagogy.

Make, fix and create...

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