Saturday, June 29, 2019

a summer day

Yesterday evening we went out on a pontoon boat on Beaver Lake with friends and it was our goldendoodle Rosie's first time in a boat. She loves the water as you can see.

Today in my wood shop I'll continue applying finish to parts of the maple table and also begin preparing stock for my upcoming box making and box guitar classes at the Eureka Springs School of the Arts.

As Rosie shows, and as we all know the world is a fascinating place deserving our attention. Children and dogs deserve to learn directly from the real world by doing real things.

In conventional schools we crowd too many children into purposely sterile classrooms. We swap kids between teachers, reassigning them to new ones as they "progress." We design schools based on the efficiency of handling kids, rather than to meet the interests of each child. And students soon learn that they must mold themselves to fit in or struggle to escape.

My mother would tell about one of her first Kindergarten students, Dougie Dencker. Her classroom was partly in the basement with windows that were at ground level on the outside of the building. So when she found herself missing Dougie, the other students informed her, "Oh, Miss Bye, he escaped out the window." And how many of us can remember that urge to escape?

When my mother called Mrs. Dencker to inform her that her child was on the loose, Mrs. Dencker said, "Oh, don't worry about Dougie. He knows his way home." He was found a short time later standing in the middle of downtown Ft. Dodge directing traffic. "Dougie" Dencker grew up to be an over the road truck driver. He lived in Iowa, Alaska, Colorado, Kansas and California and died in 2003.

Make, fix and create... Allow for us all to express our individuality, even in schooling.

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