Sunday, August 21, 2016

the most difficult point

Kim Brand, Director of 1st Maker Space, sent a link to an article describing the need for woodworking in schools. The Future of Woodshop. It is good to see programs on the rise, and to see educational policy makers beginning to understand the necessity of manual arts training. This video on the same school is a heart warming affair.

One of the appeals of woodworking in schools is that it allows children to do real things, which in turn reflects one of the principles suggested by an associate of Froebel, Adolph Diesterweg. He had proposed along the lines of Pestalozzi that education should proceed from the "concrete to the abstract." Education for most students has become mired in pretense and abstraction when kids really need to be doing real things that help to shape them in character as well as in intellect.

Diesterweg proposed: "First educate men, before worrying about their professional training or class... the proletarian and the peasant should both be educated to become human beings." So one mistake often made in manual arts training involves the question "who should receive it?"

Yes manual arts training is extremely important for those students who are not going to college. But YES, it is also a necessity for those who are destined for academic pursuits. That may be the most difficult point for me to get across. Regardless of where you are going in life, your life and the lives of those around you will benefit from your efforts to create useful beauty.

I spent the day yesterday cutting the dense thicket of small trees that has grown up on our drive. Today,  in the wood shop I'll continue bending wood to make tiny boxes and work on a series of boxes that contain samples of 28 Arkansas woods.

The image above is of Froebel's gift number 7 variant with right triangles and unequal sides. The triangles are a bit like the molecules in minerology in that various types fit each other in distinct ways and each set calls forth a differing set of forms. Compare the photo above with photos in the last two posts.

Make, fix, create, and extend to all others an understanding of the need to learn likewise.

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