Friday, October 27, 2017

Harvest party...

Today the Clear Spring School holds its annual Harvest Party. It is a seasonally appropriate means to fulfill the Halloween dress-up inclination without having our kids dressed up as Dracula, princesses, ghosts and power rangers. It is also a gentle way in which our students do things to benefit each other. The older students are preparing food and drinks. The younger ones have planned games and prizes for each other. In wood shop my upper elementary school students made toys to give to our pre-primary school students. Today in the woodworking booth at Harvest Party, we will make wooden power pendants and button toys with all the kids. I may take some photos during that time.

In the afternoon I'll pick up the plywood for building Bevins Skiffs, so that I can begin work on boats during fall break.
"To get rid of the 'verbosity' of meaningless words Pestalozzi developed his doctrine of Anschauung - direct concrete observation, often inadequately called 'sense perception' or 'object lessons'. No word was to be used for any purpose until adequate Anschauung had preceded. The thing or distinction must be felt or observed in the concrete. Pestalozzi's followers developed various sayings from this: from the known to the unknown, from the simple to the complex, from the concrete to the abstract.

To perfect the perception got by the Anschauung the thing that must be named, an appropriate action must follow. 'A man learns by action... have done with [mere] words!' 'Life shapes us and the life that shapes us is not a matter of words but action'.

Out of this demand for action came an emphasis on repetition - not blind repetition, but repetition of action following the Anschauung." --William H. Kilpatrick in his introduction to Heinrich Pestalozzi (1951) The Education of Man - Aphorisms, New York: Philosophical Library.
An observant (and often wordless) repetition of action is required in the development of skill, whether it is in music, science or the arts. The development of skill is a requirement for the development of the whole child, one who is integrated into the fabric of community and life. Schools that understand the necessity of skill understand also the necessity of doing real things.

Yesterday Barry Dima from Fine Woodworking and I did a photo shoot, completing the photography for two articles on box making. My thanks to Barry and to Fine Woodworking for the opportunity to share a bit of what I've learned with others.

Make, fix, create, and insist that students have the opportunity to learn lifewise.

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