Wednesday, April 03, 2013

what can you do?

Richard Burman, a Canadian film maker who's particular interest is bringing the hands to light is working on a new documentary, and has a pitch for funding with Cuban Hat. Go and vote. The following is from an article in the New York Times, "Need a Job, Invent it." by Thomas Freidman quoting an email from Tony Wagner, a Harvard education specialist, who's new book “Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World,” questions the educational status quo:
“Today, because knowledge is available on every Internet-connected device, what you know matters far less than what you can do with what you know. The capacity to innovate — the ability to solve problems creatively or bring new possibilities to life — and skills like critical thinking, communication and collaboration are far more important than academic knowledge. As one executive told me, ‘We can teach new hires the content, and we will have to because it continues to change, but we can’t teach them how to think — to ask the right questions — and to take initiative.’ ”
Today I had my 7th, 8th and 9th grade students in wood shop. We started out with a demonstration of heat treating knive blades, then spent some time  cleaning the shop. There will be a public event in the building that houses my wood shop and I am particularly grateful to Cindy and the middle school class for getting things in order. I am preparing for a trip on Thursday to teach in South Florida over the weekend. It seems the month of April will be a very busy one. In addition to teaching with the South Florida Woodworkers Guild, I have a visit from members of the Oakland Art Museum on the 13th, and the Thea Fine Art Show in Little Rock on the 28th.

In the long run, we will not be measured by what we know, but by what we've done with what we know. Even with the internet, this is not a new thing. Still, in stupidity, public education in the US has made what we know instead of what we can do the center of it all. This strategy makes it easy to test and measure, but very difficult to prepare students for a future they and we cannot foresee. We need to launch schools into a complete state of revolution, engaging the hands of scholars in the scholarship of real stuff.

Make, fix and create...

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