Saturday, July 01, 2017

a day of rest...

I am home from teaching a 5 day box making class in the new woodworking studio at the Eureka Springs School of the Arts and will begin ordering some of the things that are still needed there. For instance, we need a full set of tools to do various things related to maintenance of equipment. We borrowed stools from the blacksmithing studio for last week's course, and those will be replaced with stools dedicated to the wood studio. The acquisition of various things will go on for awhile, and we are pleased (and grateful) that additional funds have been given by various donors.

Today I rest. Tomorrow I begin work on an article for Woodcraft Magazine about making a box guitar.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) seems to be on the rise as high tech manufacturing is growing in the US and jobs are hard to fill. As I've discussed earlier, educational policy makers had insisted that all student needed to go to college, and that the entire thrust of their education pre-k through 12th grade should be oriented toward that singular goal.

Junius L. Meriam in his book, "Child Life and the Curriculum," 1921, insisted that curriculum should not be designed toward some future goal, but should assist the child in living his or her life in the present time. Education is burdened by abstraction, and artificiality which is a part of what I meant when I wrote;
“In schools we create artificial learning environments for our children that they know to be contrived and undeserving of their full attention and engagement… Without the opportunity to learn through the hands, the world remains abstract, and distant, and the passions for learning will not be engaged.”
That short passage was quoted by Matthew Crawford at the opening of his best selling book Shop Class as Soulcraft. I ran across Matt Crawford quoted in this week's Time Magazine in an article about how manufacturers are actively taking away from farmers the right to repair their own equipment. In that article, Crawford notes: "Being able to be the master of your own stuff, to open it up and take a look and take care of it, answers to a vary basic human need." If you can own a tractor, but not have control of the software that enables it to work (as is the case now), manufacturers can bleed you for all you're worth.

You can help push our society in the right direction by supporting "Right to Repair" bills in your local legislature, but in doing so, you will be facing a huge wall of resistance from corporations who want to keep you from being able to fix your own stuff.

Make, fix, create and assist others in learning likewise.

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