Bring Back Shop Class In All Public Schools

Shop Class

This isn’t a new thought, as highlighted below, but this does need to be a growing trend. Teaching the youth that not only is it acceptable to work with your hands, it is also very rewarding. The process of creating something, and then being able to hold it in your hand, can have a profound effect on a kid’s desire to learn more.

This story shows a Representative in Colorado who is trying to get funding for vocational classes.

A few years ago, Time Magazine published a piece titled, Why Schools Need to Bring Back Shop Class.

The Technology & Manufacturing Association reports in their News Bulletin how America’s Future is in the high school shop class, and it’s up to marketing geniuses to focus on re-branding it in the minds of American students and parents. Why?

Because the state of American manufacturing has been facing a well-known hurdle–the manufacturing skills gap. Companies nationwide are collaborating with local associations and educational organizations to develop strategic and tactical solutions in areas of the greatest need.

One major challenge the industry faces is attracting students to be the next generation of manufacturers.

Join us in Detroit for Manufacturing Day and to celebrate American made at Made in America 2020.

23 Comments
  1. Shop classes taught more than the end product. There was so much the students had to
    Learn and master on their journey to complete their project. These lessons transfer to all areas of a child’s learning and development. Having pride and respect for a job you did your best on, being patience and taking the time needed to do it the right way. I could go on and on. Life lessons are learned in a shop class. And for students who could not achieve in more academic classes shop was an oasis where they could experience success.
    Schools need to educate children for life not just a job

    • Pat Vitaccoo, every point you make is absolutely spot on.

    • This should have never ended. This needs to be put back into the school system. College is not for everyone but knowing a skill is important.

      • I totally agree! Back on the 1980’s when Shop was still in existence, I was a Substatute High Schol teacher in a Drama Class where the regular teacher had gone home for summer vacation & was refusing to come back. The Senior Drama Students soon realized that I had performed in many local Music Productions & decided they talked me into putting on a Musical that Spring. One of the young men was in a Shop class & he designed our sets & built them in his Shop Class. His teacher said that it was a wonderful learning experience!

      • Also home ec. People need too know how to do basic cooking , minor clothing repair like sewing on buttons and adjusting the length of pants etc.,and how to maintain his or her place of residence.also maybe rewireing a lamp.

    • They also need to bring back home economics.

  2. Right on!!!

  3. Absolutely agree with this! My husband loved his shop class and became a welder, owning his own small business. He loved building things with his own hands as well as woodworking as a hobby! I enjoyed my home economics classes and became a Registered Nurse and Nursing Director.

  4. You are right! For many it’s the only non scholastic but practical class they take!❤❤❤

  5. I was a school board member or 20 years, and it broke my heart to quit offering shop class in our Middle School. What a confidence builder! I know it worked wonders for my daughter, who is still the handy one around the house. The issues were cost of up to date equipment, and of course, liability.

  6. Unfortunately the school sports programs have eaten all the money available to schools, so the school boards had to cut expenses, thus shop went away because of the cost of equipment and instructors. With sports being so popular in schools and universities I do not have much hope for shop classes to be supported soon.

  7. Back in the old days, they would let us out sturdy hall( nap) to take Woodshop or Metal shop if wanted , I chose Metal shop because the teacher was 30 younger than Woodshop teacher. Then I liked so well by learning the ways to bring the material together for the finest product. I won an award for the best made coffee table. I think I may still have it the attic, does not match our furniture . I now have shop 24-32 ft that looks like house, the brick & roof. I have made for a lot folks & friends. Have made a few bucks for my time. My Man Cave. All because I was offered a shop class.

  8. The beginning of the end for skilled trades education in our school system began when the name was changed from Industrial Arts to shop class. (Credit: Mike Rowe). This devalued the importance of Skilled Trades Education, and created a stigma associated with participating in them. I’d like to see Industrial Arts reintroduced into out schools!

  9. I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to take shop classes in High School. They honed a skill set. They also taught discipline, respect of machinery and power tools, project planning and project management. I’ve used these traits to remodel, refinish and finish my home throughout my life. Of all classes that I’ve ever had to take (high school and college), shop class has proven the most valuable to this very day.

  10. Shop class is where our children learn skills that start them out in life

  11. The trades, building trades like bricklayers, roofers, carpenters, electrical, plumbing, landscaping, millwrights,iron workersn all are begging for help
    Luckily we have a 5 county vocational high school backed by trade unions.
    Currently they are building a new rectory for our parish under the direction of skilled contractora. The students are learning and it is saving our parish thousands of dollars.
    My son is an executive chef and he is working out an intern position for future chefs
    Boys need to learn how to use basic tools to fix things around the house.
    Bring back Home Economics. too.Many women can’t sew a button on a blouse or coat. They can’t hem a skirt or a pair of slacks, let alone replace a zipper. l called to have my ski jacket zipper replaced. l was told $1 an inch. That’s $30, almost the sale price l paid for the jacket. l’m 71 but l can still put a zipper in an article of clothing Let’s teach these teens how to do something beside how to text someone!

    • Why shouldn’girls know how to use tools and change a tire or fix things? Many men work in the fashion or clothing industries and can fix hems, etc.Theynhadnto learn it somewhere. Please stop the gender stereotyping.

  12. In the late ‘60s I had wood shop in 7th grade, metal shop in 8th. Enjoyed them both, as I also enjoyed art classes. Didn’t take shop or art in high school or university. Would gladly have swapped out physical education for either shop or art in high school.

    Local high school has spent many millions on sports facilities over the 30 years we’ve been in our home. Of no interest to our kids when they were there, nor to us.

  13. INDEED, I agree wholeheartedly! TO HAVe THE BASICS AT LEAST IS WHERE ALL LEARNING TAKES PLACE. I took ‘shop class in high school and learned how to acheive success in regard to setting things in motion and following through to fruition! BRING BACK SHOP CLASS FOR ALL underclassmen (and girls).

  14. I think there are at least two ways of thinking about shop class. One is as a path to a non-college career, which is what this person seems to have in mind–
    — ‘This should have never ended. This needs to be put back into the school system. College is not for everyone but knowing a skill is important.’

    Another is as ‘general knowledge and skills’ that anyone can use, college or no college. In this sense, instead of the old ‘boys take shop, girls take home ec’ sex/gender-based concept, -both boys and girls- would take some of -both home ec and shop- , so that everybody would not only know how to put up a shelf if the need arose, but also know how to mend a tear, re-attach a button and cook a meal, for example.

    • So I’m wondering what everyone thinks about a ‘both take both’ school curriculum.

  15. We have a duty to pass on the skills to deal with Life as well as some academic skills (i.e basic math, english, etc.). It is a shame how much we’ve pushed kids toward a lifetime of student loan payments when their passion may have been in a trade of some kind. Beyond that, it’s incredible to me the amount of simple life lessons that are now missed opportunities for so many young people.

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