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  • Steven Delpome

Who killed shop class?


A friend of mine posted the picture to the right on facebook.

Very interesting I thought. Another friend of mine commented on the pic, “ took woodshop all 3 years of middle school bc I loved the class!” (click this link to read the convo)

And upon reading that I wondered: I bet you learned a lot in that class and you learned a lot from it because you loved the class. It’s no mistake that the classes we remember in which we learned a lot are also the classes we loved. We don’t learn from what we don’t enjoy (except maybe not to have that last drink, or not to take that turn at such speed on your bike, but we don’t want to set that kind of experience up for children). Because we enjoyed shop class/art class/et al., we all succeeded.

It makes you wonder if the powers on high, in their endless search for academic rigor, (click the word and tell me if that’s what a classroom should be) decided “all of the children are succeeding in shop class. It must not be a challenging class,” and thus decided it could be eliminated. Anyone in those classrooms knows that’s not true of course. But why didn’t those in power think, “All of the children are succeeding in shop class. Is it because they love it? How can we make all of the other classes like that?”