There is often a vague idea as to what is meant by the educational value of manual training. I would suggest, to make this subject clear, that, while the children are at work, the following questions should be satisfactorily answered by supervisors, teachers, or visitors:These same guidelines would serve any teacher well, particularly in those cases where a student is expected to learn by doing real things. These rules could be applied equally in the wood shop, music studio and science laboratory. In the theory of Educational Sloyd, instruction and the design of models were to be arranged so that the child would proceed in the natural order of learning (as we all do):
- First. Are the child’s positions and movements while working such as are likely to be injurious or beneficial to his physical development?
- Second. Is he doing his own thinking, unprompted and uninterrupted by the teacher?
- Third. Is his work so carried on that self-respect is developed rather than vanity?
- Fourth. Is he learning to recognize and to love excellence of workmanship, as shown by becoming more and more critical of himself and his own achievements.
- Fifth. Is he learning to recognize good form and to avoid unsuitable decoration?
- Sixth. Is he getting some training in good citizenship by working with others?
- Seventh. Does the finished product represent the child’s own effort, and is the workmanship good; or was the problem too difficult?
- From the known to the unknown,
- From the easy to the more difficult,
- From the simple to the complex
- And from the concrete to the abstract.
I am packing for my classes in Indiana. I am also moving my work from one downtown Eureka Springs Gallery to another. As of today, my boxes can be found at the Jewel Box, 40 Spring St. Eureka Springs, AR.
Make, fix, create, and extend to others the love of learning likewise.