Monday, March 03, 2014

To neither cramp nor deaden...

The following is from John Dewey's "Pedagogic Creed."
"I believe that the school is primarily a social institution. Education being a social process, the school is simply that form of community life in which all those agencies are concentrated that will be most effective in bringing the child to share in the inherited resources of the race, and to use his own powers for social ends.

I believe that education, therefore, is a process of living and not a preparation for future living.

I believe that the school must represent present life life as real and vital to the child as that which he carries on in the home, in the neighborhood, or on the playground.

I believe that education which does not occur through forms of life, forms that are worth living for their own sake, is always a poor substitute for the genuine reality, and tends to cramp and to deaden."
One of the things that makes woodworking at Clear Spring School so exciting for students is that in the wood shop, everything is real. The tools are the same ones that adults would use. The processes are the same that craftsmen have used for ages. The materials are real, and once modified in some way, retain the condition to which they are shaped, whether by error or intent. The level of cooperation required to attain success is real and demanding. When a child makes something in the wood shop, he or she is able to self-assess the results of effort, and carry home useful objects representative of real learning.

We have had another snow and ice storm in Eureka Springs, and have no school today, due to roads and streets in hazardous condition. We started out with freezing rain, then pellets of ice all day Sunday, then  another four or five inches of snow overnight. If you are suffering under such conditions, there is no better place to learn and enjoy the day than in a wood shop as shown above.

Make, fix, create and teach.

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