Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Paradise of Childhood...

As I've mentioned before, manual arts training was seen by early educators as a way to extend Froebel's teaching methods throughout the child's school experience. Why should the very best of education be limited to one's first year in school? And then why, after such a great introduction, should the rest of a child's school life be a torturous experience? Anyone wondering what those teaching methods were would benefit from the book that Milton Bradley published as a 25th anniversary edition of The Paradise of Childhood.

Originally, Bradley had been a small manufacturer of board games, and when he met Edward Wiebé, he was not all that impressed by the book that Wiebé wanted him to publish. Then he met another early advocate of kindergarten who impressed him thoroughly, and led him to reconsider. He published Wiebé's The Paradise of Childhood, and began making the various gifts used in the kindergarten teaching method. The 25th anniversary edition includes a huge amount of information as to how the method is used.

Children should be as thoroughly versed in human creative methodologies as they are in reading and math. Children educated in their own creativity represent our human species species at a new level.

The book is rich in visual images in explanation of Froebel's gifts, and also in human understanding as follows:
"The fantasy of the child is inexhaustibly rich in inventing new forms. It creates gardens, yards, stables with horses and cattle, household furniture of all kinds, beds with sleeping brothers and sisters in them, tables, chairs, sofas, etc., etc. If several children combine their individual building they produce large structures, perfect barnyards with all outbuildings in them, nay, whole villages and towns. The idea that in union there is strength, and that by co-operation great things may be accomplished, will thus early become manifest to the young mind."
Today in the school wood shop, my first, second and third grade students will continue working on independent projects and my middle school students will continue making book rests using hand tools.If one were to wonder what Froebel had in mind, you would find some of it in the CSS woodshop.

Make, fix and create...

No comments:

Post a Comment