Why should schools still offer shop classes?

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Forum topic by gizmodyne posted 02-13-2008 05:07 AM 2271 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1780 posts in 4326 days

02-13-2008 05:07 AM

Topic tags/keywords: woodshop schools

With the joining of ICTINSTRUCTOR I was thinking about why shop is important to still have in our schools. Or is it?

(Personally I would love to teach shop).


-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

8 replies so far

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4111 days

#1 posted 02-13-2008 05:31 AM

I’d love to teach, too. I have a couple of people who have asked me to do classes in my shop, but insurance is an issue. So is the fact that my shop is usually a disaster!

Unfortunately, my daughter took shop in Jr High last year and was taught the wrong way to do all kinds of things. She’s capable of beautiful work, but she was so discouraged by the end of the class, I can’t even get her out into the shop with me. That kind of instruction can’t be helpful to the continuation of shop classes.

Why shop is important …
  • applied math (“when am I ever going to use this?”)
  • appreciation of craftsmanship (“but IKEA sells shelves for $17”)
  • development of a skill/hobby (“I’m bored, guess I’ll play Nintendo for eight hours”)
  • planning and delayed satisfaction (both dying arts)
  • problem solving (before and after problems arise)
  • anger management (mostly after problems arise)

I’m sure others will come up with a million more reasons!

-- -- --

View Jim's profile


120 posts in 4234 days

#2 posted 02-13-2008 05:49 AM

I took all the shop classes in school wood, metals, small engines, screen printing, arc. drawing, photography (also home economics) in school I also took Heavy equipment operation in vo-tech. I also think shop and vo-tech teachers have more time to read their students and be more casual with them. My Vo-tech teacher pulled me aside one day and had a 1 on 1 with me and asked what was going on with my life I was the top student and was in danger of failing because of poor attendance, he told me straight up to get my head outta my arse and graduate because I was 3 months from graduation and it wasnt worth throwing away. I also had a friends dad give me the same speach about 2 days later and I think spike gave him a call too. It has paid off in the long run because I have a good career that I never would have gotten without that piece of paper that said I graduated. If I knew then what I know now I would have tried harder in math and science also because it wasn’t till about 10 years ago I figured out they go hand in hand with what I do for a living. I still think some kids are ment to work with their heads and some with their hands. I just hope my boys get to work with their head.

-- Jim in Cushing Oklahoma

View Karson's profile


35152 posts in 4637 days

#3 posted 02-13-2008 06:12 AM

I’d love to do some teaching. We do have workshops at the woodworkers club. It’s a great time there.

I hadd shop in HS and I enjoyed it but that was 1956.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4224 days

#4 posted 02-13-2008 06:17 AM

I had what was called Intro to Industrial Arts in HS.

and 2 I can’t remember.

I actually liked drafting and printing the best.

That just shows you how things change.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Tomcat1066's profile


942 posts in 4032 days

#5 posted 02-13-2008 12:26 PM

In middle school (6th grade actually), there was an industrial arts program. However, some snafu put me in band. I didn’t play an instrument, and no desire to play the instrument I ended up with, and always regretted not getting to take Industrial Arts (which everyone called shop anyways). I would have only gotten one quarter of it, but by the time I escaped band, my class had left industrial arts.

My next school didn’t have any such program in middle school, then I went to a small private school for high school. Now, at 34, I’m trying to learn to build stuff with my own two hands.

Is shop important? More than many realize. We have raised generations that are dependent upon mass market products and reliant on the status quo. Fewer and fewer people take up an activity that may increse their self reliance, and shop classes are an excellent place to introduce them, if done properly (see Peter’s comment).

Perhaps the thought is “if everyone has shop, they may build their own stuff, rather than buy the disposable furniture we need them to buy!”

Who knows. ;)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View MsDebbieP's profile


18618 posts in 4397 days

#6 posted 02-13-2008 12:45 PM

another benefit: resiliency
the ability to manage challenges and pull out the old backup plans – think on your feet and not give up.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View matter's profile


210 posts in 4005 days

#7 posted 02-13-2008 01:21 PM

The world still needs skilled trades. The shortage in our area is incredible. I am the only trim carpenter that I have met in years that still copes my joints.

Kids need to learn to use their hands to do more than play video games. There doesn’t seem to be the level of self sufficiency that was normal 20 years ago, even within my own generation.

On the other hand- if nobody knows how to use a saw, it’s good for my business…LOL

-- The only easy wood project is a fire

View Teri's profile


88 posts in 3999 days

#8 posted 02-13-2008 08:12 PM

A few important skills you develop in woodworking are problem-solving and the ability to be self-sufficient. I think it also helps a child develop good common sense and direction, which seems to be lacking in a lot of kids these days.

My uncle was the shop teacher at my high school and he was one of the most influential, respected teachers. The kids absolutely loved him and I’m sure he saved more than a few kids from dropping out of high school. I do think shop/tech teachers do have the chance to interact more with kids on a 1-1 basis.

My kids didn’t have the opportunity to take actual shop classes but they got a taste of it in their Ag classes/FFA. And it was some of the most “valued” education they received. Two of my kids are engineers and their “shop” background went a long way in steering them in that direction.

-- Teri, Kokomo, IN

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