I just saw a brief (6 min.) video presentation by Gever Tulley about a “Tinkering School” for children. It’s not a regular school; it’s six-day “immersive experience” where the kids take a wide range of materials (wood, rope, wheels, etc.) and make whatever they want out of them. You have to see the video to believe what these kids create. A roller coaster made of wood built by seven-year-olds! A bridge made out of plastic grocery bags. A boat. A bicycle. There is no curriculum, no tests. Just lots of tools – real tools (hammers, nails, soldering irons, etc.) – plus time to explore, experience, and “figure things out by fooling around.” Tulley: the kids soon learn that “nothing ever goes as planned. Ever. All projects go awry.” Sometimes they start with sketches and doodles, sometimes they just start building.Success is in the doing. Failures are “celebrated and analyzed.” The children have a change to imagine, creative, fail and try again, and solve problems to create things that interest them. Tulley is the author of 50 Dangerous Things (you should let your children do). What he’s interested in is having kids acquire good sense and mastery of “dangerous” things in life rather than avoid them and remain ignorant and unskilled in them. Walking is ‘dangerous’ to the very young, but we work on it and then move on to running, climbing stairs, etc. Tulley says, why stop there? Go another step and learn to walk on a tightrope. We learn by “fooling around”, and his book sets up chances for kids to learn, experience, and discover. In current society children are often raised in overprotected, overscheduled environments and may well miss out on the wonderful enrichment that comes from “doing it yourself”, making “mistakes”, getting dirty, using whatever’s around to make up games and projects.
How does this apply to the horn? Continue reading