Thursday, January 27, 2022

This week at the Clear Spring School

We've had a challenging week as a number of students and one staff member were out with illness and possible exposure to covid-19. But it was a good week with students building interesting things with blocks and making bird feeders with the outdoors study group. 

My assistant Dustin suggested the use of glue sticks for gluing blocks of wood together and we found that even though glue sticks are often  almost worthless on paper, they do work with blocks of wood. They are far less messy than wet glue and far safer than hot glueguns. Adding glue sticks to assembly kits we hope to develop will make them a more complete kits, less reliant on other things being provided from a household supply.

I've been working on an op ed piece I hope will be useful in promoting my new book and that reminded me of when I was quoted in the New York Times regarding school wood shops. The article was "Kindergarten Shop Class" published on March 30, 2011.  I was quoted as follows with regard to a renewed interest in woodworking education for kids:

“There is an awakening going on for sure,” said Doug Stowe, a longtime woodworker and educator in Arkansas, who was named a Living Treasure there in 2009 for his efforts at preserving and teaching the craft. Since he started a blog five years ago called Wisdom of the Hands, named after the program he founded in 2001 at Clear Spring School in Eureka Springs, Mr. Stowe said parents, educators and woodworkers from around the country have been contacting him for advice on starting projects and classes in their communities.

“Up until the early 1900s, there was a widespread understanding that the use of the hands was essential to the development of character and intellect,” said Mr. Stowe, 62. “More recently, we’ve had this idea that every child should go to college and that the preparation for careers in manual arts was no longer required.” "Somewhere along the way," he added, “we have forgotten all the other important things that manual training conveys.”

If you are a subscriber to the New York Times you can find the article online. 

Make, fix and create... 

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