To the editor: Your wish of "good riddance" to the California mission-modeling project assigned to thousands of fourth-graders misses an important point: Learning to create things with your hands is an important part of a full education. ("Good riddance to California's 'mission project,'" editorial, Sept. 19).
Where some see "questionable educational value," I see a type of learning that shouldn't be presumed to be less valuable simply because it doesn't come from books and paper, or, increasingly, a computer screen.
I was dismayed when I learned that the tactile and visual experience of fingerpainting has all but been eliminated from kindergarten classrooms, replaced with math and writing worksheets. Now, I am dismayed by The Times deriding the mission-building project as "messy."
Though painting, modeling and building may take over the dining room table, they teach children an important lesson: that they are capable of creation. In an increasingly digital world, maintaining a curriculum that includes touching, manipulating and making physical objects is more necessary than ever.
Linda Williamson, Granada Hills
To the editor: Oh, the horror, the planning, the mess. My kids have to build a California mission. No, wait — I have to, again?
On second thought, I never built one. My parents constructed it for me.
I get it. The California state curriculum is getting revenge on us parents. We never did this project years ago. This is our first time.
Richard Javitt, Palos Verdes Estates