Wednesday, February 10, 2010

choir practice

Jason, a technology teacher from Victoria, Australia wrote as follows:
Your site is a revelation and is like a breath of fresh air.
I am a technology, building and construction and work related skills teacher at my local secondary school. I have had real life experience in industry for a number of years as a builder and relate to the students very well. I stumbled across your site and was instantly connected to the content.

Technology teachers aren’t represented that well in academia as we tend to just ‘get the job done’ quietly in the background. I am interested in presenting your ideas to staff and just want to ask if this is ok?
Yes, of course. Please do.

We technology teachers haven't done a very good job of blowing our own horns, and haven't done a very good job of discussing the values of what we do. We haven't even been very clear among ourselves what those values are. There is a challenge, being in staff meetings or even in the same room with those who have well-cultivated verbal linguistic capacities when we on the other hand, have been quietly developing skills of hand and eye rather than of discourse and proclamation. Like a fine craftsman, we hope what we do is self-evident and leaves others speechless, but we fail to understand that others are self-absorbed, enough out of touch, out of the sensory framework of hand and eye, that the only way to address their attention is through words.

So, this blog is not just preaching to the choir, it is choir practice. We must tune our voices and our language so that we can firmly and confidently address the world of the verbal/linguistic and remind those mired in it that the true power of our humanity is not what we say, but what we do, that our real human soulcraft is that which emerges through the creativity of our own hands. On the subject of verbal/linguistic dominance over the hands in education, readers might enjoy this earlier post from October 2, 2007.

Our election to raise school district millage passed yesterday by a large margin, so Eureka Springs will be building a new public high school. I and others have been promoting the notion that it be a school of the arts. Keep your fingers crossed. Every school should be a school of the arts.


  1. "Choir practice!" I like that and have been trying to figure out how to make my own blog serve the cause.

  2. Cindy, Comenius proposed learning by, "Artisans do not detain their apprentices with theories, but set them to do practical work at an early stage; thus they learn to forge by forging, to carve by carving, to paint by painting, and to dance by dancing. In schools, therefore, let the students learn to write by writing, to talk by talking, to sing by singing, and to reason by reasoning. In this way schools will become workshops humming with work, and students whose efforts prove successful will experience the truth of the proverb; "We give form to ourselves and to our materials at the same time." Writing is just one of those things that takes practice. So sing away. Blogging is a great way to develop your voice.