Sunday, August 05, 2012

Anything ever so stupid to amuse themselves?

"The higher orders are in their youth kept away from all manual work to the result that they, later in life, do not understand anything but reading and writing; when they get tired of these occupations and do not meet with innocent pastimes, they give themselves up to anything ever so stupid and useless in order to amuse themselves. It is easier to manage ten children in a workshop than three who do not know what to busy themselves with.."  Christian Gotthilf Salzmann (1774-1811)
However, if you strip classrooms bare, thus eliminating all tools and material for creativity and distraction, and impose a hard line on carefully controlled behavior, an effective disciplinarian can keep a group of students bored controlled and disengaged. Is that the best use of our resources? It would be far better, through the arts, with wood shop and laboratory science to actually engage children in the world through self-directed learning.

This next week I'll be preparing for 8 days of class at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking. On next Saturday and Sunday I'll teach how to make the various jigs, and fixtures I use in box making, then we will use those jigs and fixtures for a full 5 day class. On the following Saturday I will teach a one day class on installing hardware for cabinets and more... There may still be opening in these classes. You can go to the Marc Adams School of Woodworking website for details.

Make,fix and create...


  1. It's not just children who "give themselves up to anything ever so stupid and useless in order to amuse themselves". Adults do it too. . .

    And *sometimes* certain childish adults give themselves up to something ever so stupid and useless in order to amuse your's Truly. . . :-)

  2. So while you're teaching people how to build boxes I'll be using some of the skills learned from you to build a new chicken coop for my son and daughter in law. The family joke now is that it could end up with a sauna in the foyer.