Think for a few moments about Maslow's hierarchy of needs, with self-actualization and self-actualized learning at the top of the psychological pyramid. Self-actualization as expressed by self-directed activity and self-directed learning would be what we (if we were smart) would want most for our kids.
I should note that Salomon did not believe a model series to be carved in stone. At Nääs, model series were always works in progress, and were adaptable and fine tuned to meet the needs of each child. The teacher's tact came into play in assessing the developmental needs of each child. Educational Sloyd's first premise was to start with and maintain the interests of the child, and Salomon knew that children's interests would not be the same all over the world. So he shared the system of thought which went into designing a model series in his book, Teacher's Hand-Book of Sloyd, and he encouraged teachers in other nations and cultures to amend the model series to meet the interests of their own scholars. My own copy is from the second edition and was printed in 1904.
|Greg's hand tooled bench.|
My apprentice Greg brought in his first second self-assignment as a completed work. I had loaned him my copy of a recent Fine Woodworking Magazine so that he could read an article by Christian Becksvort on making a bench with hand tools. Greg built it in his own shed. He chose a perfect project to develop skill. Recognizing that the quality of his work can be improved following what he learned from this, he plans to build another, bringing his work closer to perfection. He learned that even simple work, done well can be harder than one might expect, but also that it can be infinitely rewarding. Just like an early teacher of Sloyd, I had to give only minimal guidance toward the improvement of his work. From my teaching of children and adults, it appears that we all learn the same way. And if we want our children to learn at their best, we should take advantage of what we know about ourselves, hands down.
|Hardwood boxes, assembled veneers.|
Make, fix and create...