Sunday, March 31, 2013

Education vs. instruction...

Salomon believed that unless teaching was individualized for each student, it was merely instruction and not education. He stated:
If we do not teach Sloyd individually, it is not a means of education in its truest sense, since it is not based on the nature of the child; and unless Sloyd be so based, it will soon lose its potent educational character.

Teachers have said they have learned far more from an educational point of view through teaching of Sloyd, than through he teaching of any other subject. They have, through individual teaching, enjoyed to watch the gradual development of the individual.

Instruction aims at the implanting of knowledge and the promoting of dexterity, while education aims at the development of the faculties. Class teaching in manual work treats of Instruction and not of Education strictly so called.

It does not take into account the nature of the child except in a very perfunctory manner.
It was certainly a surprise for me when I arrived at Nääs in May, 2006 and began my process of realization that Educational Sloyd was about far more than woodworking alone. The depth of Sloyd for me has kept growing. Educational Sloyd, I learned was a view of education that addressed the whole child and his or her relationship to family, community and self. And so we come to the crux of the matter of children's educations. In too many schools, the individuality of each child is repressed. Salomon noted that in class teaching,
It is not the development of the individual scholar but the individual class that is aimed at. The minds of the scholars composing it are at various stages of intelligence; they differ also in ability.
This sentence is revealing. Salomon, understood intelligence as being in stages of development whereas, most educators see intelligence as fixed. A child is either smart in this way or not is the common view and nothing could be further from the truth, as intelligence in its various forms mature as the child develops and as it is applied and experience is gained in its use.

Last night we had dinner with my cousin Mary Lou and her husband Michael in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and I was reunited with dining room furniture I had made for them in 1994 or 1995, and that was featured in 3 articles I wrote for Woodworker's Journal much earlier in my writing career. It was such a pleasure to share a delightful meal in the midst of my earlier work, and to see that it is still as nice as I remembered.

Make, fix and create...

1 comment:

  1. That distinction between education and instruction is crucial. But schools will do their best to ignore it.


    PS As soon as I saw that table I thought it was your work.