Hall 1101-351

Giovanni Morales

English 1101-351

Sept 23, 2018

In school we are mostly being prepared on how to become knowledge workers than becoming skilled workers like crafting. In the passage Shop Class as Soulcraft, by Matthew B. Crawford, the author talks about how shop class is meant to teach skilled work like how to become a  carpenter, a mechanic or an engineer. This type of labor is becoming a thing of the past now because schools expect students to become knowledge workers. He even talks about how blue collar workers are being degraded and they don’t get the  appreciation they deserve because their jobs are being overlooked, most of what we use is because they fixed or created and there work should be praised by everyone . If this is the case then I believe that the Shop class should be brought back because we don’t necessarily need to make a career out of shop class but it can become handy in our personal life.

According to Crawford, “ A decline in tools use would seem to betoken a shift in our mode of habbiting the world: more passive and more dependent” in other words, normal people are not using tools because we expect someone else to do it  for us. I agree with the author, this shows that we are changing and nobody wants to lay their hands on tools and get the job done themselves and would rather just hire somebody. I had an experience with my sister when we couldn’t change the light bulb it was Round Fluorescent Lights in our bathroom, we didn’t know what to do and suggested that we’d call the super to do it for us. It wasn’t until my dad showed up that he was able to fix the light, we were left surprised that he was able to know a handy yet useful skill as simple as that.

For shop class it’s not really necessary for us to get a career out of  it, but handy for our own personal use because in the Wall Street Journal they wondered whether “ skilled [manual] labor is coming one of  the few sure paths to good living”. Their point is that you are likely to be less successful in working a manual job since these kind of jobs are getting degraded the pay rate must be getting low and these kind of jobs will be avoided from job seekers. If there is a decline in blue collar jobs then who will we call when we need something to be repaired? This is where shop class comes in we can resolve our own problems and it will also be beneficial for us since we will be able to think better at problem solving in this class. A point made by Crawford himself  “From its earliest practice, craft knowledge has entailed knowledge of the “ways” of one’s materials- that is, knowledge of their nature, acquired through disciplined perception and a systematic approach to problems”. You will encounter challenges but will develop a better understanding. This is not just needed through work but in life, learning how to maneuver well when encountering obstacles. Shop class will help us improve on ourselves to become a better independent worker.

My years of going to school so far felt like besides math was just helping me with reading, writing and memorizing there wasn’t really any hands on experience and that is what schools lack. They should encourage us to become innovators, being prepared for both blue collar or white collar gives us the advantage to have more career options and be better at it because multiple skills are required for any job. As Crawford states, “… and the hard-headed educator will say that it is irresponsible to educate the young for the trades, which are somehow identified as jobs from the past”, I would have to disagree with this, what they are trying to say that we are going backwards instead of progressing forward because of the jobs are not valued as more as someone who would work in a office. Everyone should be valued equally, with class shop the learning experience can be taken to another level being able to do more with your career can give you a advantage at probably getting paid more. This is more like a step forward in career choice, a little must be taught in everything so that those who are undecided wants to find something that they like.

Ultimately Class shop should be reintroduced because of the benefits its carries, it’s more than just getting a idea of a job profession its discipline and it could be used throughout life and yes you could get a career out from it and if not you may know something that a few people will not , any problems within their house they don’t need to call somebody. It’s not degrading blue collar workers saying that because of class shop everyone can take matters into their own hands and the say goes for white collar, blue collar isn’t better than white collar and vice versa. Both are evenly important to have around. The purpose was to know a little of everything and gain new sets of skills to expand our knowledge. This is a hands on learning experience, helping students to explore on what they are good at. In the end there are various benefits to bringing back shop class, we just need to take advantage of it so that we can succeed in life.


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