Monday, December 28, 2015


Here in Northwest Arkansas we are in our third day of a predicted deluge. Highways were flooded yesterday and the rain continues today. Roads have been washed out, and highways flooded as bands of rain have cycled through our area one after another.

This has been interesting to me, in part, because three days before this event, computer models had warned what we were in for, and the advances made in climate science, helping man to understand and predict weather are clear cut. Even the staunch conservatives who deny the effects of global warming, do so at the risk of making fools of themselves. How dare they deny the credibility of climate science and still make use of the weather information available at hand on their iPhones? What can they say when their policies of obstruction of scientific understanding have resulted in cataclysm? Oops, Maybe?

We pay a heavy price for our schooling. It's not what it costs in terms of teachers and buildings, but what it costs in failure to engage students and stimulate inquiry among all students. I explained this in an earlier post during the 2009 presidential campaign, Why jp aint smart. But I'll try to quickly explain it again. Our current model of public schooling denies the value of student inquiry, and pushes children through the process of schooling without regard to their readiness for inquiry. It culminates in students who do not know the process of sifting through data to discover truth, and insists that belief is enough.

Friedrich Froebel's Kindergarten was not about just giving children what they needed to pass on to the next level. It was about helping children to connect with and understand the whole of life, and their relationships to the worlds of nature and of man. And when we tally the true costs of our educational model, we must take into consideration the opportunity costs of what American educational policy makers chose to ignore.

In my wood shop during these rainy days, I've been making boxes, finally adding pulls and routing the bottoms. I can finish sanding and begin applying Danish oil today, but will likely wait for a sunny day when I can either open the windows or set up to work outside.

Make, fix, create, and extend to others the opportunity to learn likewise.

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