Monday, December 07, 2015


Yesterday at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Eureka Springs, we had a Rabi speak for the first day of Chanuka. He told how the candle they call the shamash is the servant and the one that is used to light all the others. He compared that to the power each man or woman has to change the world by lighting the fires of love and compassion in others. Would it not be wonderful if schools could keep religious intolerance out, and let spirit in? The following is from Susan Blow's Symbolic Education:
To Froebel the most interesting correspondence between the unfolding of thought and the growth of plants and animals lay in the characteristics which constitute the very idea of development. Comparing the mind of the young child with that of the mature and educated man, we find that the former has few ideas, and that such as he has are abstract, indefinite, and held in isolation the one from the other; while the latter not only possesses an infinitude of particular thoughts, but has articulated these thoughts into a systematized unity. In like manner, organisms develop by an advance in structure from the homogeneous to the heterogeneous, their growth beginning in the differentiation of an originally uniform germ, and through a continuous repetition of this process completing itself in the production of a membered totality in whose maintenance an almost countless number of organs find their own fulfillment. In other words, as thought unfolds by dissolving an ever-increasing multiplicity of differences into a higher unity of self-consciousness, so an organism develops by "working out diversities of member, form, and function, and at the same time in the very act of differentiating, reintegrating its diversities into the common unity." To this correspondence Froebel is perpetually recurring, and occasionally his manner of stating it gives color to the idea that he borrowed the law of development from Nature, and, making the "tree his tutor," learned from physical organisms how to aid the mind in its struggle to become actually what it is ideally. But the careful study of Froebel's works revolutionizes this opinion. He was not one of those who love to find "natural law in the * See Caird's Philosophy of Religion, p. 108. spiritual world," but rather one who only cared for Nature because he had penetrated her disguise and beheld in all her varying forms the shining lineaments of mind. "There exists no other energy," he once said," but that of thought. The law of thought is the law of the Cosmos." * And, again, he wrote to Krause, the philosopher, "I consider the movement from analysis to synthesis, which I find in pure thought, as the type and law of all development." The practical bearing of the thoughts just considered is obvious. If education is to conform to the natural process of development it must seek in childhood to quicken sympathy and enlarge the range of perception. It must aid the boy to find the relations between observed facts, while to the youth it should reveal the unity underlying these relations, and gradually lead him in each department of study to "see the whole in the part."
This was of course, the kind of language that befuddled those who wanted education to stick to the facts, convey nothing but the facts and for education to ignore the natural development of the child.

I am interested in having my students make a variety of wooden musical instruments, and so have begun making a funky cigar box guitar as shown in the photo above. The frame is made of pine cut from a 2 x 4 and the top and back panels are glued up from resawn basswood.

There are 17 making days left before Christmas. If you have gifts to give for any of the holiday occasions, and are running out of time check out my etsy store here.

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

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