Sunday, July 26, 2020

An old diploma

A reader sent me a photo of his grandfather's graduation diploma from Gustaf Larsson's Sloyd Teacher Training School in Boston. Dana Andrews Stanley, upon graduating in 1912, became a teacher of the manual arts, leaving a lasting legacy among his students and within his family. 

Thousands, like Dana Andrews Stanley went on to teach woodworking throughout the US.

Recognizing that the power to create and to serve society through what we made, was just as important as literacy, the manual arts were an important part of American education. Then, in an odd twist, educational policy makers decided that all students were to go to college and the manual arts were brushed aside. 

We went from being a manufacturing nation to being one in which students attend college, fail to get college degrees and are left with massive debt and in which we're addicted to buying foreign made stuff. When you make something, you are not just making that thing. You are remaking yourself as a craftsman.

We must look at American education and make an important change. All students should have the opportunity to learn real things by doing real things.

Make, fix and create....

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