Saturday, October 06, 2012

engagement of community resources...

Use a simple doweling jig to locate dowel holes in the sides
Allowing schools to reflect the resources within their communities? Admittedly, not all communities are as interesting and vibrant as Eureka Springs. Folks come here because we offer more of something they want. Our winding roads, forests, lakes, historic architecture and the arts all have their appeal. Spring St. winds down through the center of town, with small shops and galleries, each offering things you may not find anyplace else, and certainly not at your big box store, and folks do like to shop. We have great restaurants and diverse lodging experiences, from big chain motels, to historic hotels, mom and pop motels, and bed and breakfasts in historic homes. We even have two tree-house cottage lodging facilities if you want to walk up steps to your own temporary (but cute) domicile. Sorry, no real trees, just steps, but that is OK in the fantasy world tourists hope to find here.

Use a drill press for top and bottom
So what if you live in an inner city, and schools in your community are  a bastion of safety for kids in a world that is so turbulent, so destructive of childhood innocence and so out of touch from educational objectives. Are there still community resources that one might find to build better connections between home, school, community and life? The political and academic elites undervalue the common folk of all communities and ignore the potential contributions they might make in the education of our kids. Is education only (as it has been for too long) about reading and managing data? What about all those once common skills that are being lost each day? Are there ways that folks with real skills in tactile arts might be brought into schools that children might begin to understand that learning is not just about black boards, electronic white boards and data, but also about real life? Education at its best is always a two-way street, with both the teacher and students lifted in self-esteem. To bring skilled carpenters, artists, nurses, bricklayers and all skilled tradesmen into full participation in local schools would be a game changer for children's lives and their communities.

I leave this as an uncompleted thought for us all to ponder. "How do we make our schools more reflective of real community life rather than disconnected puppets on a string controlled by state and federal agencies?" "How do we open the school doors to real life and engage community resources?"

In the wood shop today I am taking a break from boxes as I make a small cabinet from parts shown in photos above to prepare for this week's photo shoot for Fine Woodworking. I'm also making one small box to use in demonstrating the making and use of wooden hinges. The box is now ready to finish with shop made hinges next week.

Make, fix and create...

1 comment:

  1. Bringing the community and all the varied skills that are there into schools is a wonderful idea. But other than the rare assembly or "inspirational" presentation, schools are tied to their test-driven schedule. And now private business has discovered how much money they can make by running schools in a profit-driven way.