Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Connecticut Valley box making day 1

Yesterday at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking we cut and assembled boxes that are gluing over night. In the meantime, schools have been cutting recess time to allow for more preparation time for standardized tests. But given the pressures of modern schooling it is recess that children need most. This article from the New York Times helps to explain: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/16/magazine/losing-fat-gaining-brain-power-on-the-playground.html

One of the great ironies is that in Finland where students have more recess time than anywhere else in the world, students excel over their American peers.

The amount of recess time is not the only way Finnish Schools differ from those in the US. In Finland, students begin reading in school at age 8, thus beating American readers by a significant margin in 30% less time. They take a relaxed tone, allowing for the variations in the developmental process of the individual child. This does not mean that they are relaxed about learning, but that they are smarter about it.

Otto Salomon distinguished between two purposes of education. One was economic, as the child was prepared to take on some specific skills with economic value. The other benefit was formative, as the child was to become a fully actualized human being through the process of schooling. If we were to dwell just a bit more on the latter than on the former, we would design schooling that would focus more on child development and less on administrative concerns. Students would be more deeply involved in wood shop, music, the arts, and  recess.

Make, fix, and create...

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