Wednesday, December 27, 2017


I can be accused of a certain naivete, in that I've thought that very difficult things could be accomplished if only folks awaken to see what lies at hand. I think, for example, that if people were simply called to examine the marvelous devices at the ends of their wrists, they might be lured to become curious about their potential and discover the following:
We learn best and to greatest lasting effect when our hands take their traditional role in the learning process.
Years ago, I observed that I might be most effective if I were to stand behind and promote that which appears necessary and inevitable. In that light, I decided an art guild in our community was necessary and called the first meeting to start one. I was elected president because I was the only person to show up with a pad of paper and pencil to take names. Years later, we closed the art guild to form the Eureka Springs School of the Arts, because that seemed necessary and inevitable.

I promote an awakening to the value of hands on learning for the same reasons. It is necessary and inevitable. It is also simple. It requires teachers and administrators to ask one simple two-part question. "Am I putting the student's hands in service to their learning?" "If not, how can I do so?" The role of the parent, and policy maker is to demand that these questions be asked and answered.

So what might the best answers be? Music, wood shop, the arts,  field trips, culinary arts, laboratory science, internships, nature studies, and so many of the other things children are no longer allowed to do in those schools that have become obsessed with the delivery of standardized education.

The boxes in the photo are my capitulation to standardization. They are shown here in two sizes. After this photo was taken, I did the rough sanding on a stationary belt sander. Today I will rout the edges in preparation for further sanding exercises. The standards of finish and fit will be my own best.

Make, fix, create and promote the value of learning by doing so.

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