Today, some of my CSS students made knitting spools and learned to use them. Two of my 3rd grade students enjoyed it so much they planned to work on their spool knitting at lunch. My first grade students made twist top boxes. I mentioned the New York Times supplement on STEM education.
In that, one student stated,
"I'd like more hands-on projects where I would learn something about what I'm doing instead of just memorizing things from a textbook."That was one of the important roles served by woodworking, home economics and other forms of manual arts before educators threw all that kind of stuff out of schools during the late 20th century and the beginnings of this one.
Now educators, still refusing to acknowledge the value of the manual arts, are inventing STEM, STEAM and all its acronyms in the pretense that they have discovered something new, and necessary. If any of these newfangled folks were to study the history of manual training in America they would discover that it was proposed by Runkle and Woodward as a means to prepare students for success in engineering. Anything sound familiar in that?
One educator commented, "We want kids to have that experience of seeing how science and math lead to making things." That sentence can be turned on its head in wood shop. Making things leads to confidence and competence in science and math.
Make, fix and create...