Wednesday, October 31, 2012

those for whom school was not intended...

Guess what these are!
I went for a long walk with a friend last night and the conversation fell to schooling. He was interested in Educational Sloyd and where our current model of American education was falling flat.  It is obvious to those who have lived through the experience that it is not designed for everyone. It advances some forms of intelligence over others, and so naturally fails to validate the intellectual possibilities of all.

Howard Gardner did kind of a remarkable thing, in that he offered academic validation that a variety of forms of human expression are forms of human intelligence. Music smart, nature smart, smart in the physical use of one's body, may not measure up to listening engagement and analytical processing in the rigid realm of American education, but at least Gardner in his recognition of multiple intelligences, gave other intellectual capacities claw marks on the school walls as more generations were disappointed, discouraged, disengaged and left stranded.

Educational Sloyd ought to serve as the model for overall school reform. It offered the following precepts. Start with the interests of the child, move from the known to the unknown, from the easy to the more difficult, from the simple to the complex, and from the concrete to the abstract. Conventional public education has a couple parts of this formula down pat. Through scope and sequence of curricula, it is set up to move from the easy to more difficult, and from simple to complex, but it often fails to engage the interests of each child, fails to start with what is known to the child, and most often fails in making the steady move back and forth between the concrete and abstract.

Making real, useful and beautiful things engages all the senses, and all forms of human intellect, and so educational Sloyd was understood by early practitioners to be the best way to build upon the good start made by Kindergarten.

Yesterday I mentioned doing something different by expressing skill. On a radio interview later in the afternoon I heard Ellen Langer describe her new book, Counter-Clockwise, Mindful health and the power of possibility. I think my readers in particular will understand the relationship between doing hand work, which might seem mindless to those who are outside observers of it, and the development of mindfulness.

As to the photos above, please Guess the Use!  Can you figure out what these are for, and how they are to be used?  What are the holes used for and why the steel pins? I offer this hint. They are parts to be used in the small cabinet I am packing to send to Fine Woodworking for photographs for an upcoming article on the installation of knife hinges. Use the comments section to share your guesses.

Make, fix and create...

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

To mark to knife hinge hole position?

Doug Stowe said...

That would be a good guess given the nature of the article, but not quite right. I'll give others a chance to guess before giving my answer.

Doug

Jonas Jensen said...

Could they be holding devices for a shelf?
You could drill a row of double holes inside both sides of the cabinet, and then they are fastend to the underside of the shelf with the nails entering the holes. Then the shelf cant move neither up nor down.
(By the way, this is not the way I would make a system for an adjustable shelf).
Brgds
Jonas

Doug Stowe said...

Jonas, you are certainly thinking outside the box... no, nothing to do with shelves.

Doug

Jonas Jensen said...

I am glad that they aren't for the shelves, because they looked a bit on the narrow side. But I couldn't give the same guess as "Anonymous".

If I am allowed a second guess, then they are instead of a french cleat for hanging the small cabinet to the wall.

Brgds
Jonas

Doug Stowe said...

Jonas,

I'll give time to a couple more answers and tell you what they are in the morning.

Doug