13 February 2014

Pottery Field Trip

My class had an outstanding field trip today, in connection with our unit of inquiry into the effects of changes in science and technology. We recently completed a modeled inquiry into 3D printing, introduced in the post, Modeling Inquiry. Having delved into the future of manufacturing, a visit to Uzumako Ceramic Art School was ideal to provide perspective by experiencing one of the world's most ancient crafts, pottery.

Student hands dig into wet, spinning clay
My own visceral reaction to wet clay covering my hands, but more importantly the focus and creative energy emitted by students, was all I needed to know this was a deep and invaluable learning experience.

The two 'creative' cups on the left were mine...
The teachers at Uzumako were patient and knowledgeable, and fluent in Japanese and English, so it was truly ideal.

For inquiry, experiencing this ancient technology through our hands illustrated a connection to the past that can't be explained with words. Perhaps that's a good definition of Deeper Learning, that it can't adequately be expressed with language.

Students' impressive creations!
Seeing students with clay-covered hands, satisfied smiles, and creative sparks in their eyes is enough to make the day of any teacher. If you have a chance, I highly recommend visiting your local pottery and ceramics class!