tinkering and shop class

If you missed last week's New York Times article on shop class for kindergarten students, it's worth a read:

Gever Tulley, 49, a computer scientist and longtime woodworker, founded the Tinkering School in 2005 after he and his wife noticed, he said, "that more and more of our friends' children were requesting to come over to our house for the weekend because they knew that I would give them a hammer and put them to work."

"One day, I suddenly realized I had a responsibility to these children," he continued. "If I didn't give them an opportunity to start building things and making things that express their own imagination, they might not get one."

During the first summer, he helped eight children build a wooden roller coaster with 120 feet of track. Last summer, the 12 children in each session built an entire village, where they slept for two nights, out of nothing but wood and string.

"Children are inherently exploratory," Mr. Tulley said. Years ago, he added: "they were only limited by their imaginations. Now, they seem to be limited by parents."

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