Work Tables to Support Kinesthetic Learning in Ceramics Class
The students in my class represent a wide range of academic achievement as well as artistic abilities. Each one of them comes in knowing little about Ceramics and leaves with a rich knowledge of art history, ancient and contemporary cultures, aesthetics, chemistry, and design. We have nearly 3,000 students enrolled at our school, many of which come from a low-income household.
For many of my students, Ceramics class is their only opportunity to explore their creativity.
These kids love using their hands to manipulate the clay into new forms. They learn problem solving and critical thinking skills on their way towards creating meaningful and personal artwork.
Can you picture those small, low-height school tables from elementary school? They had four adjustable metal legs and a laminated non-porous faux -wood top. While they work well for doing book work in a sitting position, they’re not as effective for high school students working with clay. Unfortunately, these are the types of tables we have in our classroom. Many of which are not sturdy enough to handle the pounding of clay wedging and because they are laminated, they cause clay to stick to the surface. Since the table tops are made from cheap press board, many of the edges and corners have begun deteriorating from a few decades of use. Additionally, they force students of varying shapes, sizes and learning styles to sit in a low-height working position.
Having Maple-Top Steel Workbenches in our classroom would allow for students to work in a sitting or standing position which would support kinesthetic learning and provide a sturdy workspace for students to do a variety of creative operations in clay.