Wednesday, July 10, 2013

attempting to teach a "class"...

Merph's box
This is my third day of box making "class" for the Eureka Springs School of the Arts in my wood shop at the Clear Spring School. Otto Salomon said the following about "class:"
"As the aim of Educational Slöjd is totally different from mere mechanical instruction in the art of using tools and making articles, it may be laid down as a principle, that only in the degree in which the personal influence of the teacher reaches each individual pupil, can his influence be truly educative. And as human beings differ greatly from one another in natural disposition and other respects, instruction, in order to reach the highest degree of educative value, must be specially adapted to each individual.

It is as easy to explain, point out, lead, and help too much as too little, and thus to check that mental development which can only be secured by systematic well-balanced effort. This is, and this will continue to be, the disadvantage of class-teaching:—this term being assumed to mean, instruction during which all the pupils taking part in the lesson have their attention directed at the same time to the same part of the subject."
Parts for Sheryl's box.
Karen's box
Salomon explains further that purely intellectual subjects lend themselves to class teaching because, for the sake of efficiency, you can crowd more students into the lesson at one time. Not so, when it comes to subjects in which students must actually learn to do something.What I'm teaching this week is a class in name only, as I have four students each going in slightly different directions and with differing goals.

I had a nice interchange of emails with blog reader, Darrell, who first asked a question in one and then wrote me in another to never mind. In the process of framing his question he came up with the right solution on his own. I love it when that happens.

A thing I've noticed when teaching a student to make something is that they do not want to be bothered with too much instruction before it is necessary for their use. For that reason if for no other, individualized instruction is desirable and necessary, for the timing of learning—when it is most relevant—is based on the current status of the student and his or her present relationship to the subject. And when students get direct personalized hands-on instruction, they want more. Today my students were asking when my next classes will be held. They would take them all if I could only be in the right area at the right time.

Make, fix and create...

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