Tuesday, April 04, 2017

toy shop.

One of the features of the Woodworkers Showcase is their annual toy shop in which children are helped to use hammers in making small boxes and toy cars. It may surprise some to watch children 7 to 15 years old who have never driven a nail, or assembled something themselves.

We have adults these days in the same situation, having never driven a nail, and wonder why we have a persistent unemployment problem and have to acquire so much skilled labor from overseas.

OK, let's get real. Politicians claim that we have problems with our educational system that they can fix with vouchers that allow "school choice." The real solution is in allowing children the choice of learning by doing real things.

Children have a natural interest in doing real things that are of benefit to their families, communities and themselves. We are safe therefore in designing schools that follow the guidelines of Kindergarten and Educational Sloyd. Start with the interests of the child. Assist the child from moving from the known to the unknown, from the easy to the more difficult, from the simple to the complex and from the concrete to the abstract. I can, however, repeat that until the cows come home, and educational policy makers, eyes glued to test scores on their abstract digital devices may never choose to understand.

Today I am unpacking from my travels and  gathering materials for book making at Clear Spring School.

Make, fix, create, and make these three words, the centerpoint of modern schooling.

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