Wednesday, November 07, 2012

working knowledge...

In a rather nice article on "Reactivating Agriculture Education; High school reviving vo-ag, FFA programs", passed along by Reuben, the photo caption describes the object being assembled by students as a "drill." It is interesting to me that writers could be so out of touch from DIY capacity as to mistake a scroll saw for a drill. But then given the overall decline in woodworking programs over the years, we have writers who have no knowledge of physical reality what-so-ever.

Today I am leaving for Louisville, KY for the ISACS conference where I will make two presentations on the Wisdom of the Hands. One particular point that I will share with fellow teachers will be the concept of the "child as craftsman." The following is from David Henry Feldman's essay of that name:
To see a child as a craftsman means to see him as a person who wants to be good at something. It also suggests that the child continually takes pride in accomplishment and has a sense of integrity about his work, regardless of the actual level of the work produced. The notion is somewhat akin to Robert White's competence motivation, except that White's notion implies more of a need to feel mastery over uncontrolled forces in the environment. The child a craftsman no doubt is move by what White refers to as "effectance motivation," but the metaphor is intended to go beyond this to include a more direct link to specific fields of endeavor and to suggest why some activities are so much more compelling to a given child than others...

Perhaps the most important implication of the metaphor is to suggest that it may well be the main purpose of education to provide conditions under which each child will identify and find satisfaction through a chosen field or fields of work.

In other words,

Make, fix and create...

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