Friday, March 16, 2018

Launch of the Bevins Skiffs...

Yesterday we delivered canes to the Eureka Family Medical Center and launched our Bevins Skiffs. The kids took turns rowing around the lake, and I, too, got a turn at the oars.

The boats rode nicely in the water on a beautiful, sunny day at Lake Leatherwood. Photographers from both local papers and a reporter from National Public Radio were on hand.

The simple message should be clear. The things that most ail American education can be described as the 5 D's. We've got disinterest, distraction, disappointment, disillusionment and disruption. Some students go though 13 years of schooling without ever being disruptive, but most suffer at least from the first 4.

We can add another D, for depression. It's how we all feel when recess is deprived us. Boat building is a thing that excites kids. It simulates their imaginations. It makes them very proud of what they have accomplished. And they learn many things besides woodworking by building a boat.
If you were watching for any of the five D's of education, you would not have found them in boat building. We did find a very minor leak that quickly closed and that the students are sure they can fix.

The writings of Adolf Diesterweg were the source for Otto Salomon's principles of Educational Sloyd as you will discover in the following passage.
Teach naturally! Organize instruction according to the natural developmental stages of the children. Start teaching from the pupil's point of view and direct his progress steadily, firmly and thoroughly. Do not teach anything for which the pupil is not yet ready and do not teach anything with which he is already familiar. Teach in a lively manner. Proceed from the familiar to the unusual, from the simple to the complex, from the easy to the difficult, from the known to the unknown. Do not teach in an academic way (in other words, the lecture-type teaching methods used in higher educational institutions), but simply! Always remember that you are aiming at the abstract (increasing the intellectual capacity) and the material (provision of the curriculum) at the same time.
Diesterweg also advised the educator, "Learn to do by doing." That is good advice for anyone wanting to start woodworking with kids.

I put additional photos on Instagram I want to thank those who came to cheer the boat launch and Dr. Kresse for his warm welcome at the Eureka Family Medical Center as we delivered canes. Former Clear Springs teacher Juanita, came to our launch to oversee water safety. Thank you Juanita!

Make, fix, create and encourage others to learn likewise.

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