Friday, September 23, 2016

forming a socialized disposition...

A secret to safe use. Read below.
I spent nearly the whole day yesterday at my desk, writing a chapter about my box guitar book. I took a break to do some organizational/materials preparation work at Clear Spring School, to take a few more photos in the wood shop and to attend the Thursday open house at ESSA where friends have been engaged welding steel all week. It is truly amazing how much energy people have for learning when they are engaged in learning what they want to learn. They work until they are physically exhausted and then come back the next day for more.

Sadly, that is often not the case when you cram 25-30 kids in a class and propel them forward in directions they would choose not to go if the choice was their own. The old saying is that you can't push a rope, but you can pull one anyplace you want to lead. Children are led in learning best by tapping into their own inclinations.

The following is from this classic paper by Korwin and Jones: Do Hands-On, Technology-Based Activities Enhance Learning by Reinforcing Cognitive Knowledge and Retention?
John Dewey, known for his many innovative educational philosophies and support of industrial arts education, was of the strong opinion that experiences, specifically hands-on activities, were imperative in the educational process. Students could blend theory and practice, success and failure, and school and society into a mental foundation for future thought. Furthermore, activities allowed them to see, raise, and seek out solutions for personal and motivational questions. Dewey believed, however, that teaching skill for skill's sake was "...illiberal and immoral" His ideas concerning skill training in education are summarized as follows:
The educator is to engage pupils in activities in such ways that while manual skill and technical efficiency are gained and immediate satisfaction found in the work, together with preparation for later usefulness, these things shall be subordinated to education -- that is, to intellectual results and the forming of a socialized disposition.
Changing the subject slightly, one of the secrets to safe and accurate use of the compound miter saw is to stop the saw while it is in the down position. This keeps the blade from recutting the stock, prevents it from jamming the wood against the stop block, and prevents the cut off stock from being thrown at the operator. Good work on all three counts, and a lesson I learned by teaching at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking.

Make, fix, create, and offer others a legacy of learning likewise.

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