Saturday, June 17, 2017

by this time

By this time on Saturday afternoon, I'll be loading up to travel back to Arkansas following 6 days of class at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking. In the meantime, fidget spinners seem to have risen to the top of the charts and now sharply fallen as far as their  popularity is concerned.

They were claimed to be a cure for what ails you. Attention deficit disorder? Spin the thing and avoid the rising costs of ritalin. I suspect that if we had children in schools doing real things in service to family and community, we would need neither. Ritalin and other drugs are given to kids to get them to sit still for passive learning, but children as observed by Comenius in the 17th century were as follows:
"Boys ever delight in being occupied in something for the youthful blood does not allow them to be at rest. Now as this is very useful, it ought not to be restrained, but provision made that they may always have something to do. Let them be like ants, continually occupied in doing something, carrying, drawing, construction and transporting, provided always that whatever they do be done prudently. They ought to be assisted by showing them the forms of all things, even of playthings; for they cannot yet be occupied in real work, and we should play with them."
The great stupidity of education in the US is that educational policy makers refuse to accept the theories of the father of modern pedagogy, Comenius. The foundation of Comenius' thought was based on observation of real children and how they learn primarily through the senses. All of them.
"The ground of this business is, that sensual (sensuous) objects be rightly presented to the senses for fear that they not be received. I say, and say it again aloud, that this is the foundation of all the rest; because we can neither act nor speak wisely, unless we first rightly understand all the things which are to be done and whereof we have to speak. Now there is nothing in the understanding which was not before in the senses. And therefore to exercise the senses well about the right perceiving of the differences of things will be to lay the grounds for wisdom and all wise discourse, and all discreet actions in one's course of life, which, because it is commonly neglected in schools, and the things that are to be learned are offered to scholars without their being understood or being rightly presented to the senses, it cometh to pass that the work of teaching and learning goeth heavily onward and offereth little benefit."
I spent the day today talking about students about the potential of woodworking education to transform the education in this land. I thank the Marc Adams School of Woodworking and my students for allowing me to do so.

Make, fix, create, and help others to learn likewise.

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