Monday, February 20, 2017

hands-on thinking

It may appear to some, particularly those of an academic persuasion, that thinking is just a head trip. It may be for some, but it you are involved personally in the real world, it's not likely that all of your thinking process would be in your lonely old noggin alone.

If you are a mathematician standing at a blackboard, chalk in hand, is the whole of who you are a head trip, or do the blackboard, the chalk and the hand holding the chalk have a say in the matter? If you are a dancer, your feet might be involved. If you are a tinkerer of some kind or an artist you will use your hands as tools of contemplation and use actual objects in your consideration of things. My thanks to Lisa for the article, Thinking with our hands can help find new ways of solving problems, research reveals

With all the turmoil in our world of late, I have been reading John Dewey's book Democracy and Education. In it, in attempting to describe the ways in which education may be used to sustain a democratic society, he describes the essential relationship between actual experience and effective learning.
An individual must try, in play or in work, to do something with material in carrying out his own impulsive activity. This is what happens when a child begins to build with blocks, and it is essentially what happens when a scientific man in his laboratory begins to experiment with unfamiliar objects. Hence the first approach to any subject in school, if thought is to be aroused, and not words acquired, should be as unscholastic as possible.
Jean and I are in New York to spend time with our daughter over Winter Break.

Make, fix, create, and insist that others learn to think likewise.


  1. The link to "Thinking with our hands ...." is broken.

  2. Thanks Don. Fixed link!