Friday, June 03, 2016

froebel again.

My editors are fully at work on my Froebel book. I see folders being lifted and placed back to our drop box file during the day, as files are examined, and the editing begins in earnest. I spent part of the day yesterday at the computer finding and sending missing files, and adding text and illustrations that the editors have decided are needed. I've a few more book things on my to do list for today. My end of the year conference reports have also kept me at my desk, and this year I'm including student reflections in my report.

I have my school woodshop ready for ESSA classes but for one more trip around the room with a vacuum cleaner. And the architect has finally settled on a roofline and floor plan for the new woodworking facility at the Eureka Springs School of the Arts.

Last night at a party for some of my former students (Ike and Cara) who are going to the Peace Corp and are leaving for a year in Africa, someone asked if we will shuttle Clear Spring School students to classes in the new ESSA woodworking facility, but it has become quite clear to me that access to tools, materials and processes involved in woodworking needs to be immediately available and accessible to all kids.

The party last night was held at one of my former student's home. Kyle does tree work (primarily climbing), but shows genius in making things. He and one of my other former students, Daniel, have a small workshop in Kyle's concrete dome home in which they spend their spare time making beautiful hand crafted knives. When their 60 year old belt sander motor broke, they mounted the sander on a discarded treadmill, turning it and the sander into a variable speed sanding/grinding contraption that would make any Rube Goldberg wanna-be envious of their inventiveness. It was obvious they are very proud of their work.

Ike, my former student going into the Peace Corp is also a knife maker, and my other student present at the party (Jordan) makes guitars. With these students involved in such arts, I can see a bit of my own influence and encouragement trailing off into new generations.

In any case, I highly recommend that others get involved in teaching young people to do real things. The reflection from one of my students shown above shows the kind of feelings that arise when personal empowerment is offered through the use of tools, materials and guidance in the woodshop.

Today, in addition to more conference reposrts, I plan to spend some time writing about the full impact of Froebel's philosophy on education at large.

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

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