Friday, February 17, 2017

in reflection...

In my home shop, I've been making boxes with veneered tops.  Some will be given as wedding gifts, and at least two will be used to test the Infinity Dovetail Spline system. This morning I'll take my Dewalt Scroll Saw to Clear Spring School, so I can demonstrate making patterned veneered tops for my students in high school. They will be given a choice of either making veneered boxes, working on the lathe, or making practice swords for martial arts.

The boxes are of cherry with panels veneered with zebra wood (an exotic) and with burled elm. (a native wood)

This blog serves as a tool for my teaching. It helps me to plan my day, but it also serves as a memory device, and a means for reflection on what I've done and where to go next.

Einstein had said that his pencil and he were smarter than he was. Jerome Bruner discussed the ways we offload cognitive content into our surroundings. Einstein and Bruner were thinking more about the way we write things down in notebooks and chalkboards and thereby keep them at hand. But even the way we organize tools in a wood shop  or steps in a procedure are expressions of cognitive development and capacity.

The brain is much more than a storehouse of information. It is a processing center for all that is at hand. Bob Dylan was asked by a reporter about his long hair and he told how some people have their long hair on the inside where it fuzzies their thinking.

Early educators had been concerned that students were becoming "one-sided," meaning that they were being overburdened with academic content, and thus missing out on what it meant to be a fully functioning human being. Most schooling involves the absorption and supposed retention of information that children can do nothing with. Making has a way of fixing a few things.

Make, fix, create, and build a future in which others are empowered to learn likewise.

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