Tuesday, November 20, 2018

wooden boat No. 265

Most folks if asked to identify a particular learning experience that left important marks on their own lives will note the presence of their hands as being instrumental. We call those learning exercises "hands-on," and note  (if we are paying attention) the particular effectiveness of hands-on learning.

And yet, we allow schooling to be engineered in such a way that the hands are left aside and sequestered from the learning experience. The consequence is that many students are left disinterested, and disengaged, and they often resort to disruptive behavior as a way of alleviating boredom or to assert their own learning needs. If we were to design schools to maximize student learning potentials rather than to warehouse them off the streets and manage their behavior, we would make every learning experience hands-on.

The hands engage with physical reality in ways that assert the truth of the experience. They offer greater depth of engagement. In the German language, knowledge is recognized in two forms, Kentniss, which is what one learns from one's own experience, and Wissenshaft, referring to knowledge that is passed along second hand through books or lectures. As most folks can tell, second hand knowledge is superficial at best, generally short-lived and yet of enormous value if connected with practical experience and situations to assert its usefulness. Some of each is required, and knowledge of both forms concurrently acquired is best.

My students and Bevins Skiffs are shown in the current issue of Wooden Boat Magazine (Nov-Dec. 2018) in the launching section that notes new wooden boats being completed and launched.

Make, fix and create...

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