Thursday, April 01, 2021

look first then see

Yesterday in wood shop I introduced my high school students to making spoon carving knives. I began with a short video on spoon carving and then a second short video, part one of making a spoon carving knife. Of course the problem I encountered is that in order to perform a task you must first have an idea of the finished object in order to assess whether or not you are getting the results you want. In order to see the results you want, you must look and shape with an idea of what you are looking for in mind. Øyemål.

I explained that in watching an instructional video, not merely to be entertained by it, they needed to watch very carefully, for very shortly they'd be attempting to do what they'd seen me do in the video. I had spoon carving blanks and spoon carving knives ready for them to use to gain a better understanding of the tool they were about to make, but they largely ignored the opportunity to use the tool. How can a person successfully make something if they do not know thoroughly and thoughtfully how it's used? You can see where the lesson went astray.

I'll likely discard their efforts from yesterday and have them start again. 

I'm facing the craftsman vs. teacher dilemma. As a craftsman, I want the students' work to be successful and for what they make to be useful. A teacher, on the other hand, understands the necessity of failure as a means to challenge the students to look more carefully, and to understand at a deeper level.

The teacher also understands his own need to fail in the delivery of lessons as that also has educational value.

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

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