Today I plan to begin writing text for my box guitar book, as I hope to have the first chapters off to the publisher during July and August.
The following is from William Torrey Harris' report on Manual Arts Training:
Boys may love the work of the manual-training school and dislike history, grammar, and mathematics, and all book-learning, in fact; but to be excellent in manual training would not prevent him from being illiterate and a bad neighbor and a bad citizen — even a dynamiter.His absurd assumption as secretary of Education was that the use of tools was mindless and that the use of tools stifled the imagination and left the bodies of the young deformed. No doubt, he thought he was doing good things, just as the proponents of No-Child Left Behind, the common core, and the "school choice" movement think they are doing very good things. Harris' report is preserved at the conclusion of Calvin Woodward's rebuttal of it, The Educational Value of Manual Arts Training.
The question must be asked, "why are educational policy makers so out of touch?" The answer is simple. As students progress through schooling into "purely intellectual" pursuits, and are no longer subject to the reality check provided by actual experience, they tend to go out on a limb. As those students progress further, and are given positions of authority, they become a danger to society. But craftsmanship, whether practiced in school or out involves the exercise of values. Manual arts taught in school are a way through which values of creativity and craftsmanship are passed between generations... as are music, the arts, laboratory science, theater and more. "Purely Intellectual" pursuits in school like those promoted by Harris and others of his committee are an exercise in stupidity.
Make, fix, create, and extend to others the opportunity to learn likewise.