Thursday, March 08, 2018

Today in the wood shop...

Today my middle school students will be applying finish to canes. My lower elementary school students will be making friendship boxes to share with each other. In my spare time, I'll attach the seats to the Bevins Skiffs.

The hands ascertain the truth and make things real. You can see how it works. In fact, you can feel it. The engagement of the hands is therefore symbolic. When the hands are at work, the mind and body are there also. When folks are required to save the ship, the mate calls "all hands on deck," meaning everyone with mind or body or both must attend to the matter at hand. No slouchers. Intelligent folks with hands and mind are welcome and required.

So it is with education. We can leave children sequestered from reality and hope that they can find their way into service despite their lack of engagement, or we can take steps to bring reality and full sensory engagement into service of learning. We can call this "the strategic engagement of the hands." Music, the arts, laboratory science, outdoor education, field trips, wood shop, service learning, sports, etc. Each of these can be brought to bear in re-energizing American education.

The oddest thing is that development of the mind for reading is reinforced by the development of the body in play. So we confine children to their desks. Is there any sense in that?

Make, fix and create... Assist others in learning likewise.

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