Tuesday, 17 July 2007

The importance of practical work

Since the industrial revolution and increased specialization of work, practical work has been increasingly marginalized as something to be done only by whom does not possess mental faculties which allow for intellectual work. However, practical work, the transformation of materials, unifies mental and physical creativity in a process that challenges both mental and physical faculties and leads to their refinement and development.

Human creativity and productivity can be divided into two aspects: the formation of thoughts and their concretisation in the real world. Each person has the capacity to unfold both these complementary aspects for the interaction with and transformation of the world around him. During practical work intellectual and physical activity are combined.

There are also two ways of learning about the world: learning through the use of words and learning by doing.

The transformation of materials / practical work allows for learning by doing and is an important experience of own productivity and provides opportunities for significant learning about oneself and the world.

Every work, every material resists in some way to transformation. It is necessary to learn how best to transform something according to our intentions when we do practical work. For this to happen, we have to coordinate our mind with our physical activity and tune them to the requirement of the task at hand. At the beginning, usually it is difficult to adapt our actions and individual movements to achieve what we have in mind. But continuous training, insistence, help us to acquire the capacities to do the work properly. This learning process confronts us with the qualities of the material and our own. When we finally master a technique we have learned much about ourselves and the world. Practical work is a challenge and opportunity for personal development and self-education.

Fucke. E. (1996). Der Bildungswert praktischer Arbeit. Gedanken zu einer Lebensschule. Verlag Freies Geistesleben, Stuttgart.

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