Saturday, March 04, 2017

the sequestered child

In the process of teaching my students various techniques, I end up demonstrating again and again, so the veneered panels shown are the accumulation of work done to make a point. These will be incorporated in my work as the top panels for boxes.

Due to the ineffectiveness of lecture in making a firm imprint, students learn best by doing and having teacher input when the time is right.

For example, yesterday I was helping students turn spheres on the lathe. To tell the entire process at once would have left them not knowing what to look for as the point of readiness for the next step, and that next step is only effectivelt described when the student is ready to take it.

One of the major arguments some educators made against Educational Sloyd was Otto Salomon's insistence on individualized instruction. If you pay attention to how children actually learn, it's not by being fed a constant stream of information without relevance to what children are doing in their own lives. And so the teacher's job is to encourage interests, and provide the tools that those interests can take root, and to be ready and available to guide the next steps.

You can argue that learning academics and learning manual arts are different things, and perhaps some students are more ready for abstraction than others. I will argue in return that all children deserve to learn from the real world, and learning from the real world must be the case if we are to preserve it.

We all know without question that the things we have learned that left the deepest mark on character and intellect have been the things we have learning by actually doing something real. And yet we settle for schools in which children do nothing real and are instead sequestered from being of service to family and community.

Make, fix and create.

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