Wednesday, June 29, 2011

those things for which we have use...

This morning, I've been working on a small maple cabinet with hand-cut dovetails, and panel doors as shown in the photo at left.

I am also beginning work on a somewhat personal history of education to use as a part of my book, Wisdom of the Hands. The idea of a personal history is that so much of history is dealt with in the abstract, and is therefore taken out of context. A personal history allows for that context to be put in place and in all things, move from the concrete to the abstract. Which brings me to today's topic... that we best learn those things for which we have use, for which we have concrete placement and that we are often unable to learn complex bits of information until we have arranged space within the brain for those things to be stored relative to potential use.

Looking at education from the vantage point of the hands and hands-on learning, you begin to understand that most education is arranged backwards. We present theories and then expect students to store them in memory when they have little or no experience to arrange for their placement in memory or retrieval from memory. Can you see the knuckleheadedness of that? I could present numerous examples, but instead will invite your own reflection on this concept. I know I am not unique, but rather very human in my experience of learning. Do you have examples you might be willing to share with other readers? I hope so. Please comment.

make, fix and create.

1 comment:

  1. I think I know what your saying. Those with the experience of building or creating something themselves have a much larger insight than those who have only read books. Kids need to escape the tv and video games. They need to learn and grow by doing and taking action. What will happen to this generation if the power goes out and they have to fend for themselves. It is a scary thought.