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Handy Curriculum

Shop Class Teaches Sustainability

shop classAccording to a report in The Boston Globe, some American schools are regretting their decision to cancel woodshops in the 1990s in order to make room for new technology-based learning. Shop class is valuable for students that don’t navigate traditional academic settings well, empowering them to actively learn and produce tangible, functional results.

Doug Stowe, a woodworker and teacher in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, writes in, “Our society has inadvertently created a dependent generation of young people that don’t know how to fix things and lack even the most basic manual competence. Putting girls and boys into shop class would challenge rampant consumerism because a person is less inclined to throw out a piece of furniture and buy a replacement if they know how to fix it.

“With so many cheap imports flooding stores, it’s difficult for students to gain perspective on the resources and time required to create a piece of furniture, so shop class can teach students to appreciate long-lasting quality and its accompanying fair price tag. In this way, shop class is linked to sustainability.”


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