Tuesday, May 29, 2007

If you think of Educational Sloyd as a next step in the development of a broad theory of general education, you begin to understand its importance. The lineage is as follows: Commenius who noted the natural inclination of children toward physical activity, Rousseau who noted the value of engagement in the natural world, Pestalozzi who noted the value of object based education over books alone, Froebel who noted the relationship between object based education and self-directed activity or "play" and Otto Salomon who built an educational system integrating learning and self-directed creative activity. Otto Salomon believed that his "Columbus Egg," was a system that led children through a systematic arrangement of exercises leading to creative capacity and confidence expressed through an active citizenry.

The major difference between the system of education proposed by educational sloyd and what we have now in modern education isn't woodworking, but outcomes. While the passive, sit at your desk and learn useless information education leads to a life as a passive consumer, Educational Sloyd leads to a life as a doer and maker, following Froebel's principle that knowledge should lead to conscious activity.

The image below is of teacher/students in the Sloyd Teacher Training School at Nääs.

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