Friday, August 28, 2015

the schooled mind...

The interesting thing is that most folks know the truth of what follows, but neglect to do anything about it. Schooling appears out of control and too large a vessel to turn in such a narrow port.
Schools are designed on the assumption that there is a secret to everything in life; that the quality of life depends on knowing that secret; that secrets can be known only in orderly successions; and that only teachers can properly reveal these secrets. An individual with a schooled mind conceives of the world as a pyramid of classified packages accessible only to those who carry the proper tags. ― Ivan Illich Deschooling Society
But had the Titanic arrived safely in port, small tugs would have maneuvered it to the dock where the passengers and freight would have disembarked in fine shape. Most of those who are past the age of 30 will know that they've learned far more out school than in it, and that real life and the experience it offers, beats artificiality hands down. In fact, I was at the dentist this morning, and my hygienist was explaining this to me.

And yet, we do little to make schooling  and the "education" it entails representative of real life. Children, like adults, learn best when they are challenged to do real things.

Today in the Clear Spring School wood shop, I reworked my vacuum tapering jig to cut thin slices of wood for making bows. The laminations bend best when the individual strips are tapered, so I've set the jig to hold thin stock during the ripping process. One end will be 1/8 in. and the other 1/16 in. A shop vac supplies the vacuum to hold the stock against the jig.

The last time we made bows at Clear Spring School the laminated limbs were too stiff, so as an experiment and to enable the bows to be used by younger hands, we'll vary the number of strips used in the laminated limbs.

And so, what is the answer to schooling? If just a a small tug can turn a large vessel, the hands can tug upon schooling. Put the hands in play. Devise a strategy that is based on the understanding that the head, heart and hands must be engaged in order for schooling to reach the level of effectiveness that our children deserve.

Make, fix, create. Enable others to do likewise.

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