Saturday, May 02, 2015

progress and the lack thereof...

New small band saw and shop made stand.
"The nation's eighth graders have made no academic progress in U.S. history, geography or civics since 2010, according to the latest test results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)." This is described by an article in Education Week. The challenge in education is to make things relevant in the lives of our students, and if the hands are left aside, or pushed aside by the structure of schooling, relevance is hard to find. As stated in the theory of Educational Sloyd, effective learning must move from the concrete to the abstract. What you can't touch is not concrete, and will not provide the necessary foundation for abstract learning. At the Clear Spring School, we use travel school and engagement in community to make the necessary connections to bring history, geography and civics to life.

We had a fund raiser last night for my Wisdom of the Hands Program, and I was honored and worn out by the attention of so many wonderful people from our community. My students Oakley and Alena, gave instruction to guests as they made their own business card holder/desk accessories and flip cars. So, as one would guess, it was a thoroughly memorable evening for me, and will likely be the same for others. What more can I say? The hands literally touch every aspect of modern life, and while we would like to make things easier for ourselves, that our hands might remain clean, flabby, weak and without exercise, they are the instruments through which human creativity is expressed, and the steps of lasting growth of skill and character are performed.

This morning my apprentice Greg and I met in my wood shop to build stands for new small band saws, and in the afternoon, I have errands to perform for "incredible edibles," a fundraiser Sunday for the Eureka Springs School of the Arts.

Make, fix and create...

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