Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Yesterday in the woodshop...

I had 4 members of the ISACS review team in my wood shop yesterday at the same time 3 of my students were making toy trains. For some reason, the joy of being in the wood shop brought Santa to mind, and the students fell into a fantasy play as "elves" in which children all over the world were no longer believing, and it was their job to restore belief. The team members coming from an adult world, and trying to absorb it all at once, were left scratching their heads for a few moments as the children looked of into the distance, proclaiming "the lights are going  off!" or "The lights are coming back on!"  ...As they measured their effect. I tried to explain what was going on. What needed no explanation was that the kids were taking joy in their work and pleasure in their fantasy at the same time.

How can one explain the paradise of childhood? Or that children in 3rd grade may be working diligently and passionately to retain that which education at large would attempt to strip from their grasp?

One of our graduates who is now an honors student at the University of Arkansas had been an artist at a much earlier age. He had a passion for dinosaurs, and drew them with such proficiency and artistry, that even at the age of 4 and 5, adults marveled as he put pen to paper and various creatures emerged so effortlessly from his pen and from his imagination. His work was an expression of pure genius. When he was in first grade at public school, the teacher informed his mother during a conference, "I'm trying to break him of his habit of drawing dinosaurs all the time." She withdrew her son from public school.

Is the purpose of education to retain creativity and imagination, or to strip it from our kids? Some would choose one way, and some the other.

Make, fix and create...

No comments:

Post a Comment