Thursday, October 18, 2018

Archeological wood working

Yesterday my high school students began saving an old thread cabinet that had once been used in a drygoods store to sell thread, and that had then been stored in a barn. Unlike some that you can buy on eBay for a thousand dollars or more, this one is in desperate condition. Unlike those that you can buy for a thousand dollars or more, this one was owned by a family for many years and has family history attached.

Parts are missing. Other stray parts were stashed within. One thing we found was the steel key to a small safe. And the kids were captured by their imaginings as they began taking the cabinet apart where necessary and beginning the clean up. Fortunately the group of students is small, each can work on a part and none are left out.

Teaching is a complex exercise. Each pupil arrives at school with his or her own unique accumulation of prior knowledge. Each comes with a unique set of goals and parental expectations.

Each arrives with aspects of personality, firmly set. And the teacher's complex job is to foster the growth in each one. Of course, from the administrative standpoint (the perspective that drives most schools and American education at large) all kids are the same and are to be delivered the same packets of learning, timed to meet the administrative goals and methods established at the top.

And so, if that's the case, when do students have time to saw? When will students open the doorways to their own imaginations?

Make, fix, and create...

No comments:

Post a Comment