Thursday, May 12, 2016

today in Eureka

Today in Eureka Springs, the Arkansas Arts Council, the Department of Arkansas Heritage and local citizens will gather to honor Eleanor Lux, who has been named an Arkansas Living Treasure. Arkansas is one of very few states that name Living Treasures in the field of crafts. Eleanor is the third craftsman in our community to be awarded this honor. With about 15 living treasures scattered across the state, three are in Eureka Springs. So I guess you can understand that this is a special place to live and work, and that we have ways of encouraging each other.

Yesterday in the wood shop at Clear Spring School, I started some of my middle school students turning bowls on the lathe.
May the guiding star and rudder of our didactic" be this: to search out and discover a rule in accordance with which teachers teach less and learners learn more... Comenius.
In the early 1980's the National Science Foundation did an exhaustive study of the effects of hands-on learning, as it realized that hands-on science was far superior to lecture based learning that left students disengaged and uninspired. That study can be found here: The Effects of Activity-Based Elementary Science Programs on Student Outcomes and Classroom Practices: A Meta Analysis of Controlled Studies.
For the effects on student outcomes, a meta-analysis of 57 studies resulted in 400 separate comparisons involving 13,000 students from 1,000 classrooms. An average improvement of 20 percentile units on science process tests for students in activity-based prgrams over those in other programs was found. This improvement was significantly greater for disadvantaged students and less for advantaged students.
As will all such studies of hands-on learning, the educational policy makers ignored this study. Today I will be attaching necks to box guitars and making necks for Ukuleles.

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

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