Monday, June 15, 2020

open ended learning

I've been consulting on a project to develop subscription boxes for woodworking kids. The idea is that a parent subscribes to receive monthly packages of tools, materials, and instruction for their kids along with inspirational material that leads the child to engage in creative woodworking. 

One of the challenges is to develop projects that inspire open ended learning.

I walked by a display of kits at a Lowe's store the other day. The kits were not flying off the shelf. They are static. They are assembled with simple tools and with each part engineered to go in it's particular spot. This is not to tell you not to buy such things. Any woodworking is better than no woodworking at all. But projects must be designed to allow open ended creativity, for surprising consequences to be arrived at, and for the potential of failure and the exercise of plan B.

A fellow woodworking teacher on the East coast, whom I very much admire, compared my new book, The Guide to Woodworking with Kids, to a book by an earlier author, Richard Starr. That's a compliment of the first order.

In any case, the Covid-19 pandemic is offering some valuable lessons in life. As was once in Kindergarten,  we are each challenged to learn to work together, to care for each other and to make the best of things by exercising our own playful creativity. We get along better as a nation when we've learned the basics. And since the basics are often not taught as they once were, here we are learning from real life. Barbara Bauer sent this poem, one that is excellent for these times: from
These are the hands
for the 60th anniversary of the NHS 

These are the hands
That touch us first
Feel your head
Find the pulse
And make your bed.

These are the hands
That tap your back
Test the skin
Hold your arm
Wheel the bin
Change the bulb
Fix the drip
Pour the jug
Replace your hip.

These are the hands
That fill the bath
Mop the floor
Flick the switch
Soothe the sore
Burn the swabs
Give us a jab
Throw out sharps
Design the lab.

And these are the hands
That stop the leaks
Empty the pan
Wipe the pipes
Carry the can
Clamp the veins
Make the cast
Log the dose
And touch us last. —Michael Rosen 

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

1 comment:

  1. This is an amazing poem! I Google a little and found more about Michael Rosen here:

    An amazing children's author!