Friday, July 29, 2016

if only I had said that...

Yesterday I made a 20 minute presentation to our local Rotary club on the Clear Spring School. One of the questions raised by one of the members in the audience was that of why our small town of Eureka Springs would have three different school system, public, the Academy of Excellence (a bible based school) and Clear Spring School. I'm concerned that I did not answer the question as clearly as I would have liked. But while the public school is constrained by the neck as they try to conform to state standards, and as the Academy of Excellence places its strongest focus on imparting a particular bible based frame of learning reference point, Clear Spring School is focused on the interests of the child.

I am better at writing about all this than talking about education, in large part because when I write I take a narrow focus on things whereas when I speak to an audience, I am filled over with the huge amount of information at my  finger tips, and I feel a sense of urgency, as though if I haven't gotten my point across, I will have wasted my brief opportunity to engage.

One of the things to be noted about Clear Spring School is that our community is actually considered too small to support a school like it. And so Pat Bassett, head of the National Association of Independent Schools called CSS the "miracle in the woods." It is a miracle that the school exists, and a miracle that we managed to hold on during the great recession when many larger schools either failed or were forced to merge.

So why Clear Spring School, and why is it important, and why would so many folks in the community continue to support it? It offers education that is in harmony with the way children (and adults) best learn. That would be the one thing that I would have said in simple terms if I could go back and start my 20  minutes over again.

Today in the wood shop, I continue work on box guitars. According to tracking software this blog has developed a large attendance lately from Russia for reasons I may not understand. From Germany lots of folks at going to this page: The peak of mount stupid. Perhaps German readers are trying to learn why Americans can support the Republican presidential candidate, a man who has proven himself to be selfish and immoral.

A couple days ago, the Diane Rehm show featured a discussion of digital media addiction, and the long term developmental problems warned about by the American Academy of Pediatricians and others. It seems that the experts know a great deal about the dangers, but that American parents and teachers are often too addicted themselves to see the dangers. We think we are manipulating our devices and assume we are intelligent in some way for having done so. In reality, we are being manipulated.

Make, fix, create, and offer to others the joy of learning likewise

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