Hall 1101-351

Dr. Carrie Hall Albert Daddah
English Comp 1

Shop Class Essay

In the text “Shop Class as Soulcraft” the author, Matthew B. Crawford, discusses Shop Class, the importance of it, the decline of Shop classes and what that means for certain jobs. Shop Class can be roughly defined as a class that teaches basic skills and skills needed for manual work. The text also touches upon the new generation not wanting to work manual labor jobs or blue collar jobs but rather wanting to become “knowledge workers”. Crawford says, “The hard-headed educator will say that it is irresponsible to educate the young for the trades, which are somehow identified as the jobs of the past.” Crawford blames this change of mind on educators.
Educators have a huge role in encouraging the youth. Educators do teach students to become knowledge workers instead of labor workers. Crawford states, “It appears shop class is becoming a thing of the past, as educators prepare students to become ‘knowledge workers” (Crawford, 7). Crawford is saying that educators are to blame for the decrease of shop classes. He believes that educators would rather teach students and encourage them to become knowledge workers than to work in the trades. Due to this shop classes are dying out. I agree with Crawford’s statement. I do believe that educators teach us to become knowledge workers and not labor workers. Throughout my young lifetime I was always told that I should go to school and have a career and be in the medical field, in the technology field or business field. It was never a taught to become mechanic or engineer and I am not sure why. I never had intentions to become a labor worker but that may be because of my parents and my teachers. Parents always want better for their children than they had. I think parents motivate their children to have a career as a knowledge worker because they don’t want them to go through working a labor job and coming home exhausted. My parents want more for me and that’s why I think they don’t want me working for the trades. As for educators i’m not sure why they teach us to be knowledge workers. I think educators teach us to become knowledge workers because they are knowledge workers themselves. I think teachers want us to become knowledge workers because they want us to use what they teach us later on in life. But even being a labor worker you do need to have knowledge on certain things. That why I think I was taught to be a knowledge worker
Shop Classes need to be revived because labor jobs are crucial. In the text Crawford says that without shop class there will be a decline in labor workers and that is not good and we cannot only have people that work “white collar” and no one that works “blue collar” jobs like in construction or repair (Crawford). Crawford says that shop class should be brought back for the students that are interested in becoming labor workers because we are in need of labor workers and people that do manual work. Manual workers are very important and we need mechanics, engineers, contractors, electricians, etc. I agree with Crawford that educators should not neglect the idea of students wanting to become labor workers and should help them find the resources that will get them there like they do for students that want to become knowledge workers. Crawford makes some valid points on the text that make you think. Without manual workers how will things that require manual work like building or repairing occur? Manual jobs are very essential in our society today and that is why shop classes should be reintroduced so that more students would be interested in labor jobs.
An ongoing debate in the article is, which is better white collar jobs or blue collar jobs? White collar jobs being knowledge workers and blue collar jobs being labor workers or manual jobs. As I stated previously, I believe the stigma toward blue collar jobs derive from educators and parents. In the article Crawford defends blue collar jobs but I think that both types of jobs are important in our society. I believe that both blue collar jobs and white collar jobs require specific skills that you have to learn and be fluent in. It is not easier to do one job over the other and one should not be glorified over the other. However as Crawford stated that educators prepare students to have white collar jobs. I think that it is okay to have a preference but when educators encourage and force their idea on students it can fog up the students actual ideas and aspirations. It can make them believe that they should rethink their ideas, dreams and aspirations. I don’t think it is right to compare both types of jobs or say one is better than the other. A job is a job and it is what we have to do in life. So people should work a job they want to work and not necessarily because they have to.
Crawford makes some very good points in the text and really opens your eyes. Shop Class becoming a thing of the past may not be a good thing. Shop Class is a resource that can be used by students that want to work in the trades or blue collar jobs. By taking away shop class these students will not get the skills to work labor jobs. Educators also tend to prepare students for white collar jobs rather than blue collar jobs and causes for students to change their minds on their career paths which may not always be a good thing. Educators should encourage both types of jobs. The decrease in blue collar jobs is also disheartening to students that want blue collar jobs. All these factors can sway students to work white collar jobs they don’t want to work. So educators should encourage both types of jobs instead of glorifying white collar jobs and preparing students for them instead of also acknowledging both and setting students up for which ever they choose.