Wednesday, July 19, 2017

gender and sloyd...

Yesterday I visited the turning studio at ESSA and noted that there is an exact balance between men and women in attendance. The teacher is a woman. Any notion that woodworking is gender specific is in error.

Unfortunately, in the early days of Educational Sloyd, the roles of men and women were relatively fixed within society. Women at that time did not have the right to vote or own property, and this was true in most cultures around the world.

Given those circumstances, it made sense for boys to learn those things that would be accomplished outside the home, and women to be taught those things that were learned and done within. The gentleman in the photo above is Hans Thorbjörnsson, my guide to my visit at Nääs in 2006. Together we went though a huge archive of photos showing men and women almost in equal number, students from all over the world, learning to teach Sloyd. Attendance at Nääs prepared women returning to the US prepared to take leadership roles in American Education.

Unlike the Russian system of woodworking education, that was intended to prepare students for industrial employment, Educational Sloyd was intended to prepare students for life. This did not favor men over women. In fact, following the guidance of Froebel and Pestalozzi, the gifts of women in the teaching profession were well accepted and promoted. While the stupidity of earlier times failed to recognize women as full partners in voting and property rights, the character and quality of the individual (men and women) was of primary concern in Sloyd.

Today I will finish work on the article about making a box guitar.

Make, fix, and create...

No comments:

Post a Comment