Monday, October 28, 2013


I've been named to present the Fiske Memorial Lecture this year with the Northeast Woodworkers Association, as described in their November newsletter.Thursday, November 14, 2013 7PM, Clifton Park Senior Center, Vischer Ferry Road, Clifton Park, NY In addition I'll present two days of box making class on November 15-16.
"Doug Stowe has been selected as the 2013 recipient of the Fiske Award and will be honored at the November general meeting. He will be the 18th to receive the award. Among previous awardees are Silas Kopf, Phil Lowe, Teri Masaschi, Ernie Conover, Hank Gilpin and Garrett Hack."
The Fiske Memorial Lecture is named in honor of Milan Fiske, one of the eight founding members of the Northeast Woodworking Association (NWA). The public is invited.

I have been reading The Paradise of Childhood, 25th anniversary edition published and edited by Milton Bradley in 1907. I found it as an old book to supplement the electronic version I downloaded from Google Books. It's an ex-library copy from the Philadelphia Normal School for Girls and has the smell that arises from old books that have rested on the shelf too long with their words ignored. And it has evidence left by other eager readers from over 100 years ago.

In a brief section on kindergarten culture it offers this Latin explanation "Nihil est in intellectu, quod non antea fuerit in sensu", "Nothing is in the understanding that was not earlier in the senses." ... That's why children need to be doing real things in school (art, music, wood shop, laboratory science and more) in addition to reading, writing, and math.
Definite ideas are to originate as abstractions from perceptions... If they do not originate in such manner they are not the product of one's own mental activity, but simply the consent of the understanding to the ideas of others. By far the greatest part of all acquired knowledge with the mass of the people, is of this kind. Every one, however, even the least gifted, may acquire a stock of fundamental perceptions, which shall serve as points of relation in the process of thinking. Indefinite or confused fundamental or elementary perceptions prevent understanding words with precision, which is necessary to reflecting on the ideas and thoughts of others with clearness, and appropriating them to one's self. In the fact that a large majority of persons are lacking in clear and distinct fundamental perceptions, we find cause of the existence of so many confused heads, full of the most absurd notions.
In German, there are two forms of knowledge Wissenschaft and Kenntnis with one being from instruction (language based from lecture or from books) and the other from actual experiences through which all the senses would be engaged. The Kindergarten method was to create a set of shared experiences as the foundation for subsequent knowledge, based on the assumption that we learn best, most thoroughly, and to greatest lasting effect, when we learn through our own active engagement in learning. In other words, Hands-on.

Make, fix and create...


  1. Anonymous9:51 AM

    Well Done..


  2. Well done indeed! You've earned it. And too bad Clifton Park is a six hour drive or I'd be there to show support.