Tuesday, August 25, 2015

investing close to home and the virtue of making real things

Yesterday was a stormy and chaotic day today in the world's stock markets.  I listened to reports on the decline of markets worldwide, and know that the effects are enormous on the world economy. But if your investments are close to home, you will likely feel little effect, and certainly not the fear and panic that drives tremendous loss. Those who have made their monetary investment in personal productive capacity and in the development of skill have a resilience that is not available to those who invest only in those things the value of which is determined by markets, which in themselves are abstract determinations of potential worth.

For instance, I can make a set of boxes to sell in galleries, or a table or two to sell to customers, and likely thrive as the market in general declines and until folks return to their senses.

That said, I spent the last two days working on a set of boxes that I've determined are too complex for my readers, and will be simplified before the chapter is considered complete. It's not that the method doesn't work, as you can see in the photo, but that the book is becoming overpopulated with complex projects, and I must vow to myself, that I keep some projects simple enough for readers my make their first tenuous steps into creativity.

An article in Education week asks "Why Ed Tech Is Not Transforming How Teachers Teach" and notes:
But a mountain of evidence indicates that teachers have been painfully slow to transform the ways they teach, despite that massive influx of new technology into their classrooms. The student-centered, hands-on, personalized instruction envisioned by ed-tech proponents remains the exception to the rule.
My readers my find it ironic that ed-tech proponents would consider digital technology to be "hands-on." There is surely a difference between the hands being involved in the creation of useful beauty, and the virtual world that lacks in the virtue of making real things. In my Frobelian fantasy world of joyful learning the computer would be merely a gift, the wood shop an occupation. Children need to be led to engagement in doing real things.

Make, fix, create. Teach others to do likewise.

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