Thursday, January 17, 2019

Kindergarten in the college years.

I received a large pdf file from John Reynolds at Miami University showing student architectural designs based on Froebel blocks serving as the design prompt. The students arranged blocks and made block sets, then followed the path that the earlier steps provided in designing a building.

The point is that (as described in the theory of Educational Sloyd) we work best from the concrete toward the abstract. The blocks, being concrete forms, empower abstract thinking that has greater relevance to real life.

At the Clear Spring School, my students are working on bird houses for the Northwest Arkansas Master Naturalists, and I am working on supersized gift number 4 blocks for the school playground. The gift number 3 cubes still receive student attention even though they were introduced at the beginning of the school year. The addition of number 4 blocks will allow a much larger cube to be formed and other forms to be created. and will reinvigorate student interest.

Educational Sloyd was first conceived as a means to extend Kindergarten style learning through play into the upper grades. John Reynold's investigation of the use of Froebel blocks at the university level show that even college kids benefit from Kindergarten style learning.

Make, fix and create.

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