Wednesday, February 03, 2016

each child is...

A mirror of the whole of humanity.

My daughter is teaching in a New York high school where they state without reservation that each child is an intellectual. David Henry Feldman wrote an award winning essay, The child as craftsman, in which he noted that all children have within their essential nature, the inclination to do something in which they excel. In yesterday's post we referred to the lone scientist, noting that each child engages in a systematic examination of the world in which they live. And so we begin to note that each child is a reflection of the whole of humanity. Given the opportunity, children are makers, and music makers, and investigators, and productive decision makers who care for the needs of their communities and others without boundary.

In Germany before the rise of the Third Reich, the literacy rate was right at 100%. It seems that the ability to read can be essential to the modern authoritarian state, as the distribution of propaganda has become one of the means through which to control a mindless populace bent upon mindless consumption and wanton waste of resources whether they lay within one's own boundaries or not. If you have been careful in education to disregard the natural processes of intellectual development and have thereby developed a populace unwilling  or unable to question authority, you've got it made.

In the wood shop, I steer my students away from mindless activities. They must observe carefully as they create. There is some science to it. What they do shows up directly in their work, so that they themselves assess its value. We practice thrift. They also learn to collaborate with and encourage each other. And its fun.

Today in the Clear Spring School wood shop, my students will be working on their guitars and other tools related to their travels. The box shown above is my tribute to the brothers Greene.

I would like to invite you to become a supporter of the Clear Spring School. At the upper right hand corner of the opening page you will find a link where it says, "Give Now." Why would you do so? We are breaking new ground and setting a fresh example that's sorely needed in American education.

Make, fix, create, and extend the vision of others learning likewise.


  1. Anonymous2:29 PM

    "It seems that the ability to read is nearly essential to the modern authoritarian state".
    What a strange idea.
    As if propaganda did not exist in other form. The life of the saint illustraded by painting or sculpture in the churches. The preaches of the priest (preaching for examples crusades and other wars). The cinema and radio , heavily used by the 3rd reich. The audio tape cartidge used by the ayatollah Komeyni while in France.The youtube video used by the so-called islamic state. Insidious video games. Etc.

    After(while?) learning to read, people have to learn to be critical. When reading a book at least you can stop at the and of each sentence and reflect upon it. You can come back at leisure to analyse it. Don't forget that the 3rd reich has been burning lots of books.


  2. Yes, of course propaganda exists in other forms, but to read uncritically, or to watch youtube uncritically, or whatever without developing the capacity to reason is a danger to society.

    On the other hand, I can see now that my statement was a bit rash. thanks for pointing that out to me.