Tuesday, February 16, 2010

education webinars

You will find a link to the webinar I did with Michigan EdTech Specialists preserved here. We had some technical glitches, but I was told by a variety of participants that it was useful to them. And you may find other presentations in the series useful as well.

Today in the wood shop, 7th, 8th and 9th grade students worked on their book making. As with the other classes involved with the project, they are nearing the time to consider covers. I was kept too busy giving individualized instruction to get any photos taken.

I heard from Miguel Gómez-Ibáñez, director of North Bennet St. School that their experiment in sloyd classes for 6th grade students from Eliot School will begin on March 1. The following is Charles A. Bennett's description of events from 1883:
In September 1883, before formal action was taken by the School committee (to begin manual training in schools), classes were sent from the Eliot School (to North Bennet St. School). In 1885, pupils from the Eliot and Hancock schools were permitted to go to the Industrial School for two hours a week, upon the written request of parents or guardians.

After two more years, the number of public-school pupils attending the North Bennet Street Industrial School was 614 a week--116 in the carpenter's shop, 188 in clay modeling, and more than 300 girls in cooking and housework.
Does history ever repeat itself so closely that it may involve the same parties? In this case it might. I am grateful to have played a part in helping North Bennet St. School reconnect with its past. It would be fitting if North Bennet St. School and the Eliot School children were to become part of a national movement in which kids were once again trusted with tools and offered the power to create. Again, from Charles A. Bennett:
The management of this institution (North Bennet St. School) soon discovered that the best way to render permanent aid to the poor was to give practical instruction to the children. In studying the neighborhood, it was observed that "the inability to do anything well was the cause of most of the poverty and much of the crime."
So, I ask my readers to hold a good thought for the renewal of manual training for our nation's kids. Particularly for all of them.

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