Monday, June 12, 2023


 When we understand the role the hands play in human development, in the growth of character, intelligence and creativity, we also begin to grasp the importance of the arts in education and the necessity of bringing an increasing number of artists into schools and applying their hands (and minds) in the education of our children. Understanding the role of the hands in education also provides a clear rationale for woodworking education. Woodworking in schools is still important despite the concerted effort of many school administrators to do away with it.

An interesting point is made by American amateur woodworkers, when they call what they do in their woodshops “sawdust therapy.” We humbly note the beneficial psychological effects of our efforts toward the creation of useful beauty in our woodshops. We feel better when our hands, hearts and minds are fully engaged in doing real things… 


As American education is facing a post-covid internet age crisis of staggering proportions as children and teens attempt to manage their own mental health, I, as a woodworker, wonder what role the arts should play. Knowing the beneficial side effects on mental health from engagement in the arts, and the crushing need for means to assist children in finding ways to manage their own mental health, I suggest that the arts (including woodshop) take a commanding role in American education and to thereby reassert the arts as a means of personal and cultural advancement. How important are  reading and math scores when our children have not been provided the tools for getting along with each other and managing a sense of their own self worth?

In psychology, the term that applies is self-actualization... a term that describes having found purpose, meaning and depth in the real world.

Make, fix and create...

No comments:

Post a Comment