In the meantime, I have two more days of class before summer break. Today I will continue organizing the shop for adult summer classes.
I say it bears repeating. The central message of this blog is mentioned each day in the hopes it gets through. The message is simple. This blog is like a small electronic device sending a simple message each day into the uncharted universe in the hopes that some distant intelligent life form will respond. But it's not quite as hopeless as all that. If folks simply look at their own lives and their own learning experiences and then look at the appendages dangling at the ends of their wrists, they will realize the truth of what I say.
The hands are central to learning. To learn through the eyes and ears alone is to leave learning at arms length, beyond touch and beyond children being touched. We ask children to spend time in isolation from their most effective sensory appendages, and thereby ignore the educator's most important resource: The child's intellectual engagement that arises through the use of the hands.
The hands are symbolic of the whole man. When the ship is endangered, the first mate calls, "all hands on deck." He does not say, "Hey you eyeballs, come up and watch the ship go down."
And we are at that point in American education. We need to re-engineer learning to take advantage of the educator's best gift for the engagement of student minds: the hands.
Why does this work? The answer may be in: the level of processing effect.
The levels-of-processing effect, identified by Fergus I. M. Craik and Robert S. Lockhart in 1972, describes memory recall of stimuli as a function of the depth of mental processing. Deeper levels of analysis produce more elaborate, longer lasting, and stronger memory traces than shallow levels of analysis. Depth of processing falls on a shallow to deep continuum. Shallow processing (e.g., processing based on phonemic and orthographic components) leads to a fragile memory trace that is susceptible to rapid decay. Conversely, deep processing (e.g., semantic processing) results in a more durable memory trace.Anaxagoras, Greek philosopher shown above, said that man is the wisest of all animals because he has hands. So how do we become wise if we ignore them and continue with schooling in which their use is so seriously curtailed.
This theory contradicts the multi-store Atkinson-Shiffrin memory model which represents memory strength as being continuously variable (1968)/ Where assumption that rehearsal always improves long-term memory. They argued that rehearsal that consists simply of repeating previous analyses (maintenance rehearsal) doesn't enhance long-term memory.
Make, fix, create, and extend to others the love of learning likewise.