Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Scientists at Harvard have been doing some experiments with a drug intended for bipolar disorder in which they've used it to make the brain more plastic for learning. Some things like language, music, and intuitive modeling capacity are better learned when the brain is in a more plastic state. This research using a drug called valproate shows that at unknown risk, we can stop a train long past the developmental station and stick on a new passenger, but wouldn't it be better to take advantage of the child's natural developmental processes? The drug has been used to give some adults perfect pitch, a thing that usually comes only after intensive engagement in music prior to age six. Spatial sense is yet another one of those things that needs to be developed in child's early life if it is to be available for success in math, and the arts. Froebel's gifts are useful in developing spatial sense, and woodworking in schools was originally intended to take Kindergarten methods to the next level.
Rather than simply repeat myself, I will ask you to revisit this earlier post about the window of develpment for hand skills.
Today in the CSS wood shop, 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade students will begin making dinosaurs. Here again I'm repeating myself. The students shown with their dinosaurs are now seniors in high school.
Make fix and create... teach others to do so.