Monday, October 07, 2013

an overview....

While STEM educators may think that they've invented something for the first time, there is some value in looking at the roots and coming to a better understanding of what they are hoping to accomplish. this brief article,Vocational Age Emerges, 1876-1926,  gives a broad overview of the movement that began in earnest in the middle part of the 19th century, and is now called STEM, for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

I have the impression that new names are needed every now and then so that young teachers can get excited, feel liike they are facing new frontiers for the first time, and push those who have been involved in education aside without having gained anything from their experience. And yet, it is exciting to have new young folks getting excited about what technology can bring to learning.

You can ask any current teacher about this... at least those who have been teaching for a few years. There is always something that is proclaimed new, that isn't really, but that catches the short-term attention of the administration, that they then ask teachers to implement, even through the teachers have already been doing the same thing under a different name.

Two of my girls in the upper elementary school wood shop had announced to me on the first day of school that they wanted to make very tiny book shelves. "How small? "I'd asked. "This size!" they replied, showing me me with their hands held just a little ways apart.

Today, they started making their book shelves that are to hold tiny books that they make in their spare time.the use of the shooting board has allowed them to cut and fit the shelves, each to the same length. And I am amazed at the quality of their work, and all I did to help was to give them a piece of wood to work with.

Make, fix and create...

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