Independent Study: books, plans, methods

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Chris Lott
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Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:37 am

Independent Study: books, plans, methods

Post by Chris Lott » Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:04 pm

In part because of where I live and in part because of my profession (distance education), I've become interested in independent study of origami. This is a bit different than books that are best suitable for teaching, though there is likely some overlap.

So, I'm interested in finding/creating curriculum for independent learning of origami. There is a wealth of materials on the web, but figuring out how to use them is difficult. And many books don't really lend themselves to independent study.

Therefore, I'm interested in three things:
  • Books that are particularly good for self-study, preferably with some indication of age- and/or ability- level
  • Plans, guides, etc. for the independent learner
  • Ideas about methods that enable the independent learner to best learn the art
I'm not an expert, but I am an educator... so part of my pursuit might include creating an Open Education course, or similar, to meet this need.

ahudson
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Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:24 am

Re: Independent Study: books, plans, methods

Post by ahudson » Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:50 am

I learned origami almost entirely from books, after being exposed to the basics during school, and didn't start folding from the internet or with other people until I was fairly technically proficient. I don't think I had the ideal starting sequence, but for lack of something else to start discussion, here are some of the pivotal books in my early origami life:
  1. John Montroll's "Animal Origami for the Enthusiast" was my first real origami book, at the age of 10 or so. I did some of the easier models, but got stuck a lot. I got a lot more out of Montroll's work when I came back to it a few years later.
  2. Kunihiko Kasahara's "Origami for the Connoisseur" and Harbin's "Secrets of Origami", which I bought around age 13, gave me lots of interesting but easy material with a variety of subjects and styles. I think these anthology-type books are really important for intermediate-level folders. Kunihiko Kasahara's "Origami Omnibus" filled a similar niche, simply because of the huge volume and variety of material it contains.
  3. Robert Lang and John Montroll's "Origami Sea Life" and Jeremy Shafer's "Origami to Astonish and Amuse", around age 15 and 16, built my technical chops to the point that I could handle more complex repertoire, and my interest in origami started to diversify.
  4. In 2006, I discovered the internet origami community, and started folding tessellations. This taught me to reverse-engineer, as there weren't any tessellation diagrams at that point, and that led to my first forays into origami design.
Some books I wish I'd had earlier are Montroll's "Teach Yourself Origami" and Maekawa's "Genuine Origami". I think books that cumulatively increase in complexity are best because they allow lone folders to build their abilities while still offering something down the road to challenge them, but there has to be enough models in the book that the progression isn't too sudden.

I have yet to see a book that sets up a folder to start reverse-engineering, or folding from creasepattern, which I would consider important steps to becoming a supercomplex folder or a capable designer. I don't know to what extent those skills are teachable in book form.

Edwin Corrie
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Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:40 am

Re: Independent Study: books, plans, methods

Post by Edwin Corrie » Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:31 am

Not sure it's exactly what you're after, but Kasahara's "Creative Origami" (first published in 1967, softback reprint 1977) has a nice section at the end on how to design your own models. Quite unusual for a book that old. It's on Amazon.com with the "look inside" view showing the table of contents, though by itself that won't tell you much.

Nick
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Re: Independent Study: books, plans, methods

Post by Nick » Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:17 pm

Chris Lott wrote:So, I'm interested in finding/creating curriculum for independent learning of origami.
Most ori books are essentially collections of models, usually ordered by complexity. They fit in the aptly named "teach yourself origami" class, whereas what the world needs is a "let me teach you origami". Of my own output, probably "World's Best Origami" comes closest. Dummies would have been ideal, but for the page format, which adds to rather than subtracts from the perceived complexity.

I'm 3/4 way through a book I hope to self-publish, provisionally entitled "teaching origami". Which I hope will addres some of thes issues.

Caroline
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 8:50 pm

Re: Independent Study: books, plans, methods

Post by Caroline » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:22 pm

Chris Lott wrote: So, I'm interested in finding/creating curriculum for independent learning of origami. There is a wealth of materials on the web, but figuring out how to use them is difficult. And many books don't really lend themselves to independent study.

Therefore, I'm interested in three things:
  • Books that are particularly good for self-study, preferably with some indication of age- and/or ability- level
  • Plans, guides, etc. for the independent learner
  • Ideas about methods that enable the independent learner to best learn the art
I'm not an expert, but I am an educator... so part of my pursuit might include creating an Open Education course, or similar, to meet this need.

Hi Chris,
i just read your entry (allthough it's a long time ago), and what i also liked recently was the teacher's corner of the new york origami magazine "creased".

http://www.creased.com/teachers.html

It's just a small inspiration and maybe you found "your" origami-curriculum yet but as a teacher it's good to have new stuff "in the backyard". kids can get bored soo easily, as i know, because i also teach.

take care!

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