I hadn’t done anything on my YouTube channel in several years: five or so, to be precise. Basically, I got bounced from teaching history and writing to teaching Latin. So creating videos about teaching history or writing took a back-burner to making videos about teaching Latin… but I never really got into that, either, because I also picked up a job teaching computer science and computer programming. Oops. And on top of that, I gained additional responsibilities running the Design Lab at my school. Perhaps you’ve read me when I run my keyboard about the subject?
Design education in the education world has been in the news lately. A colleague’s blog reposted a New York Times article a few days ago. And yet, when I look around at what’s going on at other schools, I find that a lot of teachers don’t have much hands-on experience with the materials or the tools. Even I am still at the point of doing basic exploratory activities more often than not, as I did with automata, and with electricity.
And so it’s proving with carpentry. My dovetails are terrible. But how many of my colleagues in other schools know enough carpentry to cut a good dovetail? How many have cut a dovetail at all? I think this is one of the things that distinguishes the Design program at my school from a good many other places — the emphasis is toward hands-on learning, hands-on thinking, and hands-on process.
And that has to include my own learning process, too.