Friday, May 23, 2014

celebration of the child

I will have my elementary school and middle school age students in the wood shop on Tuesday to finish projects and help clean to be ready for this summer's woodworking classes with the Eureka Springs School of the Arts.

Yesterday we had our annual "Celebration of the Child" and high school graduation. In the Celebration of the Child, the various classes perform skits and each child's strengths of character and advancement in learning are acknowledged.

In our high school graduation, because there are only 6 students, each was valedictorian and each presented a short speech acknowledging what they had learned during their time at Clear Spring School. Sam, for instance, noted that he had been in wood shop every Wednesday for 11 years.

The point of wood shop in the Wisdom of the Hands program is not to make professional tradesmen of our youth. The point is that engagement in creative craftsmanship builds character and understanding, and that those things that are learned hands-on, are learned more thoroughly and to greater lasting effect. Skill and development of skill must become as much a part of schooling as the acquisition of knowledge if we want schooling to be both cost effective and meaningful in children's lives, to their families and community.

Each of our children know that they will make a difference in the world because they are already making a difference in our own community.

Richard Bazeley in Australia sent the photo above of his 7th year students human figures. I like the way these turned out. Some of my own student's work can be found here.

The wooden figures in the photo below are puppets made by my first, second and third grade students for their puppet theater and were described in an earlier post.

Make, fix and create...

1 comment:

  1. Now I quibble. What students learn in the shop is also "knowledge." It's just a different kind.