Tuesday, October 21, 2014

education of the senses...

In my woodshop, I have begun work on the boxes for gifts number 5 and 6 which are larger than the boxes for gifts 3 and 4 as you can see in the photo above. The techniques used to make the boxes can be the same.

In the larger world of education, there is a strong push to have all children taught by laptop or iPad to the general exclusion of the senses other than those which predominate in the manipulation of or by such devices. The sense of taste, smell, and differential sense of touch need not apply, though a long list of educators from Pestalozzi to Montessori insisted on the importance of education of all the senses.

Yesterday at Clear Spring School, the students in science class were busy taking apart owl pellets to dig out the tiny bones of mice and voles that are found inside. It was a clear reminder that you can engage the hands and the senses without being in wood shop. And those who struggle to get children engaged in schooling could take a lesson from the senses. We are more deeply engaged when all the senses are touched by our surroundings and educational opportunities.

If you think for a moment about the term "quantum entanglement," and that the object of learning should not be just that students are momentarily engaged, but that they become entangled, allow me to suggest what that means. Entanglement is not just at a superficial level as one might encounter through manipulation by an iPad. It takes place at a depth in which objects and people are forever transformed by the experience. That depth of learning requires that it be situationally real, involving all the senses. It's why children love wood shop. Even the smell of the place is transforming.

Make, fix and by all means, create...

No comments:

Post a Comment