Friday, August 26, 2016

Pencils in school

At the City and Country School, the eight-year-olds ran a school-supplies store and learned about the things they sold:

They wrote letters to pencil factories asking permission to visit, and were disappointed and at the same time curious when permission was refused because of trade secrets, a mysterious phrase into which they immediately inquired. The manufacturers did send them samples of pencils in various stages of manufacture, and leaflets telling about the graphite mines on Lake Champlain and the Florida cedar wood. Maps were again consulted; some of the children made what they called “pencil maps,” showing the sources of materials and the routes by which they were brought to the factories.

Caroline Pratt, I Learn from Children: An Adventure in Progressive Education . 1948. (New York: Grove, 2014).

Recent photographs in this edition show nine-year-olds running the supplies store, called Pencil Plus. Sign me up.

Also from Caroline Pratt
Art criticism : Caroline Pratt on waste in education : Snow in the city in the school

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