Thursday, May 13, 2021

What we learn about the truth

Yesterday in the woodshop at the Clear Spring School we made tiny house napkin holders with the Rainbow Group (kindergarten). At that age the children are so excited to make things and simple things bring great joy. To prepare for this project I cut front and back pieces and a strip of wood to be nailed between. After the students had sanded the parts, I drilled pilot holes for the nails to give them a head start in entering and joining the pieces. Glue was also applied between parts.

Education that's left overly abstract allows students to think that you can just make things up. Education that involves doing real things, gives children an understanding that discovery of truth is related to powers of observation through the senses.

In 1973 I had watched the joining of the two parts of the Hernando Desoto I-40 bridge in Memphis. It was amazing how they brought the two parts from opposite sides of the river to meet exactly in the middle. Out of curiosity, and before th bridge was opened to traffic, my sister Ann and I walked across that bridge.

Now the Hernando Desoto Bridge is closed to traffic due to the failure of one part, a massive box beam, and it was good that the breakage of that part was discovered before a colossal failure of the bridge. Routine inspection and discovery of the break led the inspectors to call 911 and to demand immediate closure.

As we watch in politics, we learn that you can lie and make things up. You can choose to ignore what you see with your own eyes, and then fabricate and obfuscate. You can deny what you've done and if you can get enough folks out there to go along for various reasons of their own, you can keep lying til the cows come home, and they may not. Perhaps chickens will come home to roost.

You can make stuff up and walk right off the deep end in lies if you choose that as your path, but we should at least be helping our students discover pathways for discerning the truth. You find that path by doing real things.


  1. - It seems the picture shows your new kid workbench design in use.
    - One thing difficult to implement in a society is a no blame culture; otherwise employees will not report incidents.
    example: "just culture" in aviation

  2. You are so right Doug. Physical things present truths that our eyes can see and our hands touch. What great lessons to carry into more abstact areas. The truth needs to 'line-up' with evidence and confirmation by facts. We have allowed opinion to take on the appearance of truth because we've become less familiar with seeing the truth in what we can touch and see.

  3. Constructing a bridge from the concrete to the abstract should be one of the goals of education. From the known to the unknown, from the easy to the more difficult, from the simple to the complex and starting with the interests o the child form the foundation for comprehension and testing of abstract subjects, and the ability to call out BS when BS presents itself.