Sunday, December 28, 2008

I love Librarians

You may have noticed that I am married to one, but I am also in awe of a librarian at Teacher's College in New York who saved a few volumes for me that are my current bedside reading. I shared a bit from one in yesterday's post, and because some are so long, I may share bits and pieces in the coming days.

Lately I've been reading the Eastern Manual Training Association journal, 04-05 which includes the roster of members. The papers and recorded discussion provide an interesting insight that would not be available to me but for a librarian saving these volumes. At one time Teacher's College was at the center of an educational movement that prepared the US for its role as a manufacturing leader, victor in WWII and the "world's sole remaining super-power." At the present time, I hope we are reawakening to the fundamental human reality... we have hands and our hands are the source of our wisdom and intelligence.

I will try to keep the postings brief. When they are long, it will be because things were so well written and deeply felt, that I have chosen to post unedited. If even those are too long for your patient reading, take the time to work with your hands instead. What you can learn through their patient application may be of greater educational value than even old books can provide.

The following is from today's reading, Mrs. Ida Hood Clark, Supervisor of Manual Training, Milwaukee Public Schools:
The child who is trained to create, is trained to think, to explore all the questions of the past and present. These single creations in the kindergarten and primary school, crude as they usually are, but expressing the individuality of the child who made them, means opening the way into personal freedom, as self choice is the essential element of liberty. Many young men and young women with perfect physical powers and intellectually capable of developing into strong personalities, wear themselves out as clerks and bookkeepers in our stores because of defects in our methods of education, the education that gave them no opportunity to choose a vocation which might develop their latent energies and talents. As vocation is the fundamental means of putting personality into life, so this hand work in our public schools will allow the children to find themselves and choose for themselves the right places in life-work. One of the greatest weaknesses under which society suffers today is careless work. More people are killed, or worse still, suffer lives of hopeless misery, through bad cooking than through intemperance, and our world is filled with helpless incompetent people who have never learned to do real honest work.
The preceding was written in 1905.

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