Will-Developed Intelligence: The Handwork and Practical Arts Curriculum in Waldorf Schools
Handwork cultivates many admirable and positive results in developing human beings – even in those already developed! Brain research demonstrates repeatedly that handwork stimulates brain development, a multiplicity of neurons and lights up almost the entire brain. Psychologists indicate that handwork generates inner peace and equilibrium. Students testify again and again that the skills they learn and the pride they feel in the results of their handwork and beyond compare. All of these beneficial results lead in turn to capacity and clarity in thinking.
Logical thought is demonstrated in handwork. Design is required in handwork, Decisions about how to use the results of handwork are demanding in the best of ways. Waldorf Education has integrated handwork, woodwork, blacksmithing, basket making, stained glass window making, furniture making, and more handcrafts and practical arts into its curriculum from the beginning of the approach of Waldorf Education in 1919. Many rich aspects of human capacity and human skill lie dormant or, worse, simply atrophy from lack of use, in each human being. These skills exercised from early grade through high school stimulate an impressive level of thinking.
This book carefully describes the handwork and practical arts curriculum in a Waldorf school and the impressive results in the products and artifacts made and in the thinking creativity in the student handworkers.
About the Author
David S. Mitchell has been a Waldorf teacher for thirty-six years. He was a class teacher and one of the founding teachers of the Pine Hill Waldorf School in Wilton, New Hampshire, and then taught Life Sciences, Shakespeare, Geometry, Blacksmithing, Woodworking, and Stone Sculpture in Waldorf High Schools for twenty-six years. He is an adjunct professor at Antioch College and has served as a leader in the Association of Waldorf Schools in North America in various capacities since the 1980s. In 1997, the Amgen Corporation selected him as one of the top two teachers in the state of Colorado. He is the chair of publications for AWSNA and serves as the codirector of the Research Institute for Waldorf Education. He has edited scores of books over the years and is the author of several books, including Will-Developed Intelligence.