Monday, April 10, 2017

a texas boy's bed.

My cousin David Bye sent a photo of his grandson Cooper's bed along with a link to the program that launches
young woodworkers in Kress, Texas.

The bed is made from cherry and the tailgate and tail lights of an old Chevy pickup truck. I'm sure Cooper could tell you the exact year of truck. The design is ingenious and won first place in the State of Texas ITE competition.

The point, of course, is that students need the opportunity to do real things.

There is a great deal of argument in the media about Betsy DeVos and her interest in giving parents choice by using a system of vouchers. When we begin to realize that children are people, too, and realize that we can trust their interests to lead them forward, it becomes no longer a matter of parents choosing what they think is best for their kids and sending them off to this school or the other based upon test scores.

Some of what we know is that vouchers and "school choice" are no guarantee of student success.

We can instead trust what Otto Salomon and the proponents of Educational Sloyd proposed in the 1800's. Start with the interests of the child. We can trust student interests to lead them forward.  Parents and schools who recognize that their kids can be trusted to learn and then put the mechanisms in place to support student interests will offer greatest success.

So instead of pushing a national strategy of vouchers and school choice, we should be adopting a national strategy of hands-on learning that allows students to do real things.

That's something my cousin's grandson Cooper will be able to vouch for. Congratulations to Cooper, and to a school, Kress High, in Kress, Texas, that has retained a program that allows students to do real things developing their own skills and using their own imaginations.

Make, fix, create, and increase the likelihood of others learning likewise.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:17 PM

    The ITE program at Kress High School, a part of Kress ISD, is located in Kress, Texas, and has a longstanding tradition of excellence in winning State with its woodworking program and providing valuable life skills for its participants.