Friday, January 20, 2017

lovely tine...

I received this lovely tine box from friends in Norway. It is a treasure box that needs no treasure inside. It is made of spalted alder and willow and laced with birch root.

Tiner, have humble beginnings being used in the making of cheese. They became symbolic of Norwegian culture and craftsmanship, just as the dala horse is a symbol of Swedish craftsmanship.

Unlike Shaker boxes that are all made to exacting formulas, tiner were made in hundreds if not thousands of small villages by thousands of individual craftsmen over many generations, so they were diverse in design, just as our students should be allowed greater diversity in school.

I am in Lincoln, Nebraska for a nephew's wedding. The box I finished last week is a gift for him and his bride. Tiner, too, were used for gifts at the time of marriage, and many of the antique tiner you may find on eBay will be dated in celebration of marriage.

Next Friday I take on a new volunteer assignment as a "fellow" with Arkansas A+ Schools. I have mentioned A+ before as their mission is to place the arts in a more central position in education. I hope to convince a few art teachers that the true mission is more than just the arts, but to simply place the hands as the primary focus of educational attention. The mind seeks the truth and the hands discover it. Where the hands are engaged education moves from abstraction to certainty, And when the hands are engaged children are lured to deeper engagement. When the role of the hands in learning is understood, there is no question for the necessity of the arts. It is a simple formula. It is easy to try. But first we have to remove schooling from the tyranny of testing and cut children and teachers free to learn real things, by doing real things.

Make, fix, create, and offer others the excuse needed to learn likewise.

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