Useful Work as a Learning Tool


My youngest boy built a box the other day. Made me think of an excellent passage from Coperthwaite:

“Out of fear of misusing children, we have deprived them of the opportunity to do real work. 

The work of most adults is hidden from the children. Even worse, most of the adults they meet do not enjoy their work.

As a result of this coercion, and the corresponding lack of opportunities for fully applied imaginations, is it any wonder that kids turn for their thrills to stimuli that are antigrowth and antisocial?

Kids need to see productive work being undertaken by those around them and to be given an opportunity to take part at an early age. Useful work as a learning tool has largely been ignored by our educational system.”

Words by William Coperthwaite in A Handmade Life: In Search of Simplicity


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