Thursday, May 28, 2020

a path to learning...

Next Tuesday I have an interview with the Path to Learning podcast. so I've been thinking about Friedrich Froebel. One of his important concepts was that what we learn needs to be balanced and expressed by what we do. Schools should therefore be places in which learning is expressed in equal measure. By using what we learn, we learn at a deeper level and stimulate greater interest. By using what we learn, we anchor that knowledge through the full real estate of the human brain and throughout the neural network of the human body.

Typical schools require that children express what they learn through ways that only rarely interest kids. For example, taking tests. Then when the test is over and done with, the knowledge, having become only loosely attached, can be quickly forgotten. Only small snippets will remain. The old saying that applies accurately is "use it or lose it." Without the balance that Froebel recommended, you may never get it in the first place, as doing requires that you learn at a deeper level.

I'm reminded of a student from a few years back who in response to my instruction would say dismissively, "I know that." So I asked, him, "show me." You can guess his response.

Yesterday I struggled to assemble a cherry veneered plywood box to house drawers for the workbench I'm making. I'd cut mitered edges for the pieces to fit to each other, but had great difficultly keeping all the pieces together long enough to get the band clamps fitted to hold the parts together. It's funny how easy things can be in the mind, and how much more complicated they can be in real life.

The Path to Learning podcast is a rich place, with highly regarded experts in education outlining  a path forward. I am grateful for the chance to share. I'll let you know when my interview goes live on the site. Parents and teachers will find value in watching the full set of podcasts.

On the same subject, a variety of publications in the US and UK are interested in reviewing and promoting my new book, The Guide to Woodworking with Kids.

Make, fix, create, and assist others in learning lifewise.

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