Thursday, January 24, 2013

this and that...

We know that children learn best by what they do and not by what is told to them. You can test this in your own life. What are the things you most clearly remember? Or if you have kids of your own, tell them a few things and take note of how much they forget. When our lead teacher at the Clear Spring High School asked his students to tell what they had learned so far this year, they ran through a long litany of the things they had done, memorable experiences, and what they had learned from them. Would that be any surprise to anyone who'd paid any attention to the workings of their own minds that their hands might have played a major part in the learning process?

So the great secret of education as described by Jean Jacques Rousseau (upon whose shoulders some blamed the French Revolution, rather than upon the shoulders of a tyrannical monarchy) Oops, that's another story... Let me start this line again and get it precise...
"The great secret of education is to combine mental and physical work so that the one kind of exercise refreshes for the other."
In other words, the engagement of the hands in doing real things brings what one learns to life. Call it the strategic implementation of the hands...

Mitered sides for another set of boxes...
Today I am making a third attempt at chapter 2. I keep learning things that would make my reader's box making easier, more accurate, less tool intensive and more satisfying. And so my lessons and yours require that I back track and start over. The boxes I've been working on will not go to waste. I'll finish them and sell them in galleries.

The title of this post makes a vague reference to object based learning, this and that. We learn best when education allows our participation in real world experiences. Tools are one of the great ways to bring the hands and learning into the hermetically sealed educational environment.

Make, fix and create...

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