The woodworking curriculum develops skill in the use of hand tools, precision, and patience in the craftsmanship of the students. Working with wood requires an application of physical strength to the project at hand and can ultimately reveal the presence of the directed will as it comes in contact with physical matter such as wood. The woodworking curriculum fosters artistry and cognitive awareness in such projects as animal carving and precision and accuracy in the measuring, cutting, and drawing of projects like geometric relief. Craftwork is intimately linked to the development of character, and woodworking can be introduced to the 10/11-year-old (5th grader). The following is a summary of the grades.
In a very elementary way it introduces the child to the world of work with the consistent effort this class requires. It emphasizes a whole-hearted participation, and the gradual development of individual skills as the final product demonstrates.
Developing the physical and manual skills called for in the handling of wood. Learning the proper use and safe handling of tools like a mallet, gouge, and rasp. Emphasis is placed on gaining roundness and symmetry of form in projects like the construction of a simple boat.
More specialized work can begin with the use of chisels of all sizes and shapes, saws, rasps, wood files, planes, sandpaper, etc. Precision and control become predominant with the 11/12-year-old, and they can begin to carve spoons, bowls, and other simply detailed structures like a house, bridge, or cathedral. The students also begin to learn how to use various clamping devices. At this level, the students exhibit varying degrees in the mastery of the tools.
There is an awakening ability for abstraction and a deeper grasp of specialized techniques. This can be seen, for example, in carving that requires the student to work from the two dimensional into the three dimensional. At this level, more complex carvings are possible, such as a ship or an artistic relief. The students can also make a variety of movable toys.
The students can begin to work on projects that require more precision in measuring, drawing, and carving in the artistically rendered geometric relief and three-dimensional animal form.