Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Danish Sloyd...

Aksel Mikkelsen, father of Danish Sloyd
The following is from Danish Sloyd, published by the Danish Sloyd Association, in 1903.
Ever since the train of ideas of the Middle Ages was discarded by the spirit of modern times the aim of education has been to get more and more into a close relation to reality. Life, not learning, has become the end of education. A one-sided theoretic action on the mind of the child has been replaced, step-by-step, by a more general development of human nature. For the last three hundred years there has scarcely been any prominent spokesman for pedagogical interest who has no insisted upon the importance of the training of the body besides that of the mind and upon the value of practice as the base of theory. Already Amos Comenius (1592-1671), in his plan of a school for the children of the people, says that, the pupils ought to become acquainted with all the more important trades, that they may not be too ignorant of what takes pace in life, and also that it may become easier to decide in what direction each individual is principally drawn by his natural propensities.
Karen in Denmark notes,
"One of the challenges we are facing is how to incorporate more fingerwork in the curriculum. We are thinking of approaching local workmen, craftsmen and artisans (men and women, of course), and perhaps also some who are retired, and asking them to help teach, either by allowing our kids to come visit them, or by coming to our classrooms to demonstrate, teach and work with the kids."
I think you will find a similarity between what early Danish Sloyd practitioners believed and what Karen and her associates are planning for their own children.

Make, fix and create..


  1. I think that Karen's idea is a good one.
    By letting the children see that some grown ups actually like to create things with their own hands could be a revelation to some of the children.
    How are they supposed to know that it is OK to create and be proud of it, if they never see any close by adults do it?
    That is one of the things that could be made possible by letting pupils visit craftsmen (and women).

  2. Years ago my father took me to visit a friend of his he'd met through his work as a purchaser for the Army. The man made surgical instruments from stainless steel, and the fabricating and shaping machines were immensely fascinating. I remember reaching down beneath a machine and feeling the sharp ribbons of stainless steel that gathered at the base. Those experiences of seeing the making of things have lasting impact. Just a few minutes of reality can stick in the mind for years longer than hours spent in school room boredom.