Wednesday, October 01, 2014

expression as a measure of educational entanglement...

Yesterday as I walked across the CSS campus, I was corralled by elementary school students asking, "please watch our play." They assured me it would be short, as it was just the first act and more would come later.

Another teacher and I watched as each played their part. It involved a bit of poison in a bottle (represented on "stage" by a rock) and a villain who hid behind a bush.

Some of the parts played by the first graders were hard to hear, but the action told all, and as this was a performance worked out by them during recess, it can serve as an example of the kinds of developmental expression that takes place when children are left in control of themselves and empowered to create in an atmosphere of trust...

My drawing above is to show a proper balance between teacher guidance and student expression. Expression is the measure of a child's educational entanglement. Yesterday, I gave my upper level kids some more instruction in sketchup. I taught them how to make spheres, but of course making spheres did not stop there. Before I knew it, they had poked through the surfaces with the eraser tool and were wondering how they might then design the insides. One student designed a ring, asking if he could then actually make it with the school's 3-d printer. That will come later.

In any case, one of the ways children are restrained from engagement in learning, is that of keeping them at arms length. We do children and our future no favors by stifling their expression.

Today in the school woodshop, my elementary school students will be making wooden birds.

In my home shop, my boxes are assembled and ready to rout, sand and finish.

Make, fix and create...

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