Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Ryan's table

I was disappointed that Ryan took his spalted maple and walnut table home before I got a chance to take photos and show you what he's done. I did talk to his mother today. The table is in the center of his room, already in use and very proudly displayed. It is tragic that so many children do not have the opportunity to make things that give them such pride. I had wished it could have been finished more finely. But the following is what Otto Salmon says about the quality of one's work...
Absolutely exact work is not demanded from anyone--child or adult. There is no work so perfect but that some fault can be found with it.

Adults cannot do perfect work, and children should not be expected to. They should, however, be expected to do correct work--using the word correct in a relative sense. The amount of exactness to be demanded depends on the nature and capability of the child, and, as these capabilities vary, so will the standards of exactness decided upon vary in accordance with these capabilities.

But how shall the teacher determine the standard of accuracy and exactness just suited to each child?

The potent factor is a true estimate of the individuality of the child. The educational tact of the teacher aids him in determining this; not only so, but it is the main factor in deciding upon the amount of exactness to be demanded.

We cannot lay down rules for this purpose: everything depends on the teacher himself. He must bear in mind that if too much exactness be demanded, children become disheartened, and gradually acquire a dislike for the work.

Yet, at the same time, it must be remembered that the more exact a piece of work is, the greater is the pride its creator takes in it, and the greater is the value set upon it.
When a teacher has a student take home a piece of furniture and exhibit such pride in its display, he or she can know that a proper balance has been achieved, even if he or she might have noted plenty of room for improvement in the finished work.

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