Thursday, March 24, 2016

cabinets and gliedganzes

Yesterday we finished a successful 2 day class in making beautiful small cabinets. The cabinets were not completely finished but were done to the point at which they could be sanded and finished in the student's own shops.

Last night I made a presentation on my work and the Wisdom of the Hands program at the Multnomah Art Center, and today I begin a two day class in box making.

Last night, members of the audience noted that many private schools have noticed the importance of wood shop in school, but so many public schools are still doing away with it if they haven't done so already. Of course we know the foolishness of Educational Policy makers. The same thing is happening all over the world among those who've made the mistaken assumption that knowledge can be instilled in minds without accompanying experience.

The Germans have two words for knowledge, wissenschaft, for that which is passed along second hand from others, and kentniss for knowledge that you get from personal experience. Most scientific knowledge falls under the category wissenschaft, as it is passed along one person to another, and wissenschaft is cheaper and more efficient to convey through books and lecture than providing the opportunity to do real stuff. The only problem with it is that without kentniss, actual experience learning real skills to do real things, wissenschaft is difficult to integrate, and untrustworthy at best.

Last night I was also trying to remember the term Froebel used to describe the child's integration into the fabric of all life. The term has been translated as meaning member-whole, and the objective was for the child to feel a part of and connected to all things, and the seamless fabric of existence: a part of family, a part of community, a part of human culture, a part of the natural environment, and membership in each of these things. The German term that I had tried to remember was Gliedganzes.

Make, fix, create, and extend to others the possibility of learning likewise.

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