Reflecting on Module 1 and 2 2017
I was lucky to be able to attend modules 1 and 2 of WPAT in June, and I thought I would give sort of a day by day look at what a WPAT module is like. No amount of pictures can show the amount of work we did! It is really kind of amazing how much we all made. What is also amazing, and can’t be shown here is how much we learned as teachers. The constant bits of wisdom dropped by these seasoned teachers of hard and soft craft have given me so many tools towards teaching.
Each day begins with a study, and the study this module was about the core principals of teaching by Rudolf Steiner. We also studied the temperments and how they relate to craft. Our main text was “The Will developed Intelligence”.
I began my day in soft craft, and we began as first graders. Mona Lewis our teacher shared her first grade verse and hand movements. We began the day by making knitting needles much as a first grader would by sanding dowels on the sidewalk, and then sanding and polishing them.
Some of us had never knit before, and those were taught by Mona, while the rest of us began our first project — a purse using garter stitch.
We quickly moved on to making other first and second grade projects including a lion, a flute case, a rainbow ball and a teddy bear which we got to dye ourselves using walnut dye made by Mona! Speaking about dying yarn, Mona showed us techniques for dying our own yarn, and we were all allowed to experiment.
Here are some of us dying yarn using flowers from the garden —
As we moved into more third grade curriculum with Module 2 we learned crochet. Mona told us a third grade verse, and a story for children learning crochet. We then proceeded to crochet at the speed of light and made hats, granny squares, pot holders and little hats for our bears. We spent more time experimenting with plant dye as well.
By the end of the week even beginning knitters and crocheters had created several projects. Once again, this was just the morning! We then went into hard crafts with Jack Bryant. This was hard work for some of us!
We began by making work boards (something I have already brought to my own class). This is a great 3rd grade building project.
We then took an axe to a redwood log and each took a log section to carve.
Our project turned out to be a 4th grade project. Using the curriculum of Steiner (Man and Animal) we created first a human form, then an owl out of that log section.
Once we finished this we began to carve a mouse out of mahagony! Those of us who finished began a sea creature!
It was transformative for some of the folk in the class. People who have never picked up a carving knife became artistic and confidant by the end of the module. People who have worked wood their whole lives learned more techniques and many wonderful teaching techniques.