Wednesday, October 11, 2017


From the Catholic Catechism:
"Virtue: Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."
A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good. It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself. The virtuous person tends toward the good with all his sensory and spiritual powers; he pursues the good and chooses it in concrete actions.
There is a marked difference between the artificial world of "virtual reality" and the practice of virtue, which demands the search for truth, and beauty and requires becoming worthy of praise through service to both family and community. Woodworking in school provides a resource for the exploration of virtue.

Reader René asked if we need a new way to measure the effectiveness of schooling. If you are standing in front of a classroom, it is hard to determine whether students are engaged enough to actually understand what you are lecturing about. That's why they developed pop quizzes, tests, and standardized distractions.

But if the students are busy doing real things, or have the opportunity to do so, you can easily witness their level of engagement and skill. If engaged they are learning, and often at a level that suits their learning needs. Can engagement be measured? For those who think measurement is necessary, the following link helps to explain what is called the Student Engagement Instrument.

Today I have a piece of new equipment arriving at ESSA, and in the afternoon will take whittling knives to Withrow Springs State Park where our students, grades 1 through 8 will be camping overnight. The experiences that students have in real life may be challenging to measure, but have profound effect.

The knives in the photo are spoon carving knives, that I made and plan to re-harden and re-handle to take advantage of having learned to do better.

Make, fix, create, and increase the opportunities for students to learn lifewise.

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