Wednesday, March 16, 2016

coming close to departure...

My classes in Portland are nearly full and I have the first of my bags packed with tools, supplies and some clothes to serve as padding and to keep me decent during the week. It is amazing how much preparation time has to go into preparing to teach adults, particularly when the journey involves air flight and bags that must be carefully packed.

At school today one of our students was wanting gloves to enable him to slide down a rope, so at my suggestion he made cardboard pads held on by duct tape to serve the same purpose.

I have a new student from Germany who is here for the month while he and his father visit his grandmother. The other students are enjoying learning just a bit of German, and it is wonderful for us all to spend time with someone from a different culture. Severin's first request was to make a slingshot, which you can see in the photo above, and he wanted to make something that he could take home his first day.

Today in wood shop, one of my middle school students is ready to put strings on her guitar. My high school students are soldering wires to build mini-amplifiers for theirs and adding the electronic parts to the insides of their guitars.

If you know anything about cutting edge science, you know that the theoretical foundation, moving from hypothesis to testing of hypothesis is dependent on the use of metaphor. We also use metaphor to help ourselves understand and explain complex processes that cannot be easily or readily observed. Einstein formulated his theory of relativity by observing trains coming and going from the station and we build our own understanding of things by making metaphorical leaps from the firm platform of personal experience.

Educational policy makers have constructed a system of science education based on right and wrong answers, and as we face the future, with loss of brain power in science, you will hear the howls, that the arts should be further marginalized to make room for more concentration on science.

There are right and wrong answers. But when you clearly examine the arts, you begin to understand that they are the right means through which to propel students into science. The arts develop intrinsic motivation in the pursuit of rigor, while providing the metaphorical foundation for extension of human scientific knowledge. If we have become a nation of idiots, it is not because we have forgotten to teach science, but that we have neglected to teach the arts.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment