Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Danish Sloyd...

Educational Sloyd was practiced throughout Scandinavia around many of the Baltic states and in many other countries throughout the world. The following is from the Danish Sloyd Association in 1883:
The object of Sloyd as a means of education is two-fold: Firstly it is to form a practical contrast to the other instruction which is mainly of a one-sided theoretic character; it will thus set to work faculties in the child that would otherwise remain unused in school. Secondly it is to form the practical starting point of the other disciplines that will thus become object lessons in a deeper sense of the word than has been the case till now. Already for a long time it has been understood, to a certain extent, that nowadays, more than ever, the race in later life calls for a training by means of bodily labor already in childhood.
Sloyd is still compulsory in Scandinavian education, so you can guess what our students are missing.

In a comment to an earlier post KP from VT noted his own difficulty with Algebra. My own response is related to this post, as Danish Sloyd recognized the use of woodshop as a means to establish relevance and purpose to all other subjects.
Teaching and learning math and algebra are significantly easier if done hands-on. My daughter learned Algebra in 6th grade at Clear Spring School using sticks. Many teachers have gone through the motions of teaching math while many students like yourself have been allowed to fall through the cracks. I was taught Algebra without ever learning that it could be useful for something. Having a clear use makes it interesting, relevant and much more easily learned. So I advise not giving up on Algebra, but teaching it in a manner that gives it relevance and use. Building a boat, for example.

Make, fix and create...


  1. It was a huge surprise to me to discover that math could be useful and not just torture for part of the school day.


  2. Anonymous4:47 PM

    My daughter started 6th grade this Monday, and tomorrow (Friday) she is going to have her first school lessons in Sloyd (we live in Denmark).
    I am more excited about it than she is.
    My father, is a retired Sloyd teacher, and according to him another of the good things about the class is: That some of the children who might not be ahead in the other classes can perhaps have a better chance in this class. So they get to feel that they are good at something.
    But sadly our government have talekd about that sloyd should be taken out of the school system. Their argument is that it was primarily used to give boys an insight in how to repair things at home and to fabricate small articles. Which (according to the politicians)nobody does anymore..
    I hope they won't succeed, because sloyd is a good way of trying some of the theory in practice.
    Best regards