Friday, July 12, 2013

Having concluded day five...

Quickly made sliding top box
Today we finished the remaining boxes and I did some additional demonstrations in response to student interests. All were interested in how to make a sliding top box, which I did in minutes due to having had so much prior experience in their making. Also, the finger joint router table was already set up and waiting. Jerry asked me to demonstrate carving a thumb groove for opening the box, which I did. The lighter stripes on the box are where rubber bands were wrapped around to hold the box together, and as cherry darkens with exposure to sunlight, the wood recorded where the sun was blocked.

I asked my class what they want me to teach next year. They asked for more hand tool work that builds skill. I suggested a class in educational sloyd in which they would be presented with a variety of lessons, each building on the experience and skill gained in the last, and students would end up with a variety of small projects and one larger one, as evidence of the skills learned during the week.

It would make an interesting class and students would be allowed to progress at their own pace, though some may not finish every exercise and every model offered during the week. What do you think of that proposal? All my students from this week said yes.

Long-time WOH blog reader Larry Gallagher, PhD wrote:
"I’ve been following your recent thread on teaching a “class” with great interest. I’m about to embark on some coaching in statistical programming for analysts at SRI (very much a 'craft', if only in the cyber/symbolic sense) and am running into the very same problem – everybody has fairly individualized needs, skills, and personal goals. Empirically I’ve found much better success with 'just in time' coaching on specific projects, rather than trying to encapsulate things into a generic 'class.'"

Thanks again for your writing and your work!
Individualized "just-in-time" teaching of students working to fulfill goals that are important to themselves, their families and communities helps the child to arise as a moral citizen as well as a craftsman and a scholar.  In this last week's class, I could not have had a better lesson myself in the value of individualized learning, as each student had unique personal goals to accomplish during class. Each walked away at the end of 5 days, having met personal learning goals, and with boxes to prove having met them.

Also, check out this link, Why Kids Need to Tinker to Learn.

 Make, fix and create...

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:16 PM

    In regards to "hand tool work that builds skill" I have learned a lot from Paul Sellers' Working Wood series of DVDs. This year my grade 9 classes made his shaker box design using only hand tools. They cut dovetail joints, molded edges, and morticed hinges using only backsaws, chisels, and planes. Other than the occasional cut finger, the complete reliance on hand tools was a very good experience both for my students and myself.

    I wish you luck on your fight against SWEPCO.