Saturday, November 23, 2013

What it means to make...

On Wednesday as the Historic Arkansas video crew was visiting in the CSS wood shop, two of my students were standing side by side at lathes, each sanding smooth the objects they had turned. They took turns testing to see whose work was smoother. "Check this," Ozric exclaimed. And when a student has done something real, he won't need an adult to reaffirm what he has noticed for himself.

In the meantime, teens in some cities are playing a new game in which they walk up to a stranger and hit him or her as hard as they can in the face. The object is to hit hard enough so that the person is knocked unconscious. In some cases the game has led to the deaths of innocent persons. The following is from CNN.
Youth violence expert Chuck Williams blamed the media and parents for what called extreme aggression by America's youth. Negative attention, he said, is often rewarded.

"That's America. America loves violence and so do our kids," Williams said. "We market violence to our children and we wonder why they're violent. It's because we are."

Williams, a professor of psychology and education at Drexel University in Philadelphia, said some young people are desperate for attention. He called it the "Miley Cyrus effect," where teens will do anything to get noticed, no matter how heinous or unconscionable.

"These kids know the consequences," he said. "They want to get arrested. They want to get caught, because they want that notoriety. They know they won't go away forever because they're kids. It's a win-win all around for them."
On the other hand, when children are empowered to do real creative things, as they do in wood shop, they seldom resort to violent acts in search of self. And when I talk about learning thorough play, hitting someone in the face is not what I have in mind.

Some readers may find use for this analysis of various views of early childhood development: Much too early.

I am in Madison Wisconsin for Thanksgiving and to attend my daughter's presentation associated with her defense of her master's thesis on groundwater depletion.

Make, fix and create...


  1. Enjoy Madison. I also have a daughter there. Much wonderful food and craft brews.


  2. They certainly do have wonderful food. Being allergic to beer, I'm missing out on the craft brews, but went to a craft show this afternoon at the Frank Lloyd Wright Unitarian church. The work was beautiful.

    Madison is a fine place.