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Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

Posted December 06, 2013 12:00 AM by CR4 Guest Author

Hands-on learning courses were once a standard part of curricula in schools everywhere. These types of classes slowly started to fade away. One prime example is woodworking. Woodworking classes can enhance an education in many ways that purely academic courses cannot. Woodworking in schools is still important for several reasons.

Hand-Eye Coordination

Woodworking teaches basic and advanced hand-eye coordination in children while the brain is still developing. Children and teenagers can learn abstract thinking skills that allow for better coordination between visual cues, tactile cues and mental images. Developing good hand-eye coordination can provide an advantage throughout life.

Learn Basic Tool Use

Woodworking teaches students how to use a range of basic tools. Some students might never have the opportunity to learn how to use a saw, plane or drill in any other environment. Students might even learn how to operate machinery like a lathe, band saw or belt sander. These tool skills can be very useful later when making repairs to a house or building furniture. The skills could even start a lifelong love of woodworking.

Spatial Visualization

Woodworking requires students to think abstractly in three dimensions. This develops spatial visualization in the brain. Spatial visualization allows students to better understand the relationship between objects in space. It is an essential ability for students who want to enter into science, engineering or math careers. It can improve grades in subjects like geometry and trigonometry. Good spatial visualization skills also help with everyday activities like sports and driving.

Teach Complex Problem-Solving

Academic problem-solving usually relies on memorization and recall. Problem solving in a woodworking classes relies more heavily on creativity, constructive thinking and intuition. This type of complex problem-solving uses more areas of the brain across a wider range of topics. This will help students to apply their creativity to find solutions in life when they encounter problems.

Manufacturing and Technology Knowledge

Students in a woodworking class can learn a great deal about manufacturing and technology. The process of turning a few pieces of wood into something that has added value and functionality will highlight how complex items in the world today are made. Students will also see how technology is used to convert raw materials into usable items. These lessons are difficult to teach through other mediums.

Encourage Creativity

Woodworking requires precision and attention to detail. It can also be a way to express creativity and artistry. Students in woodworking classes can explore personal expression by creating unique pieces. Unlike some classes, woodworking actually encourages creativity and different ways of thinking.

Show the Value of Trades and Labor

There has been an overemphasis on technology careers in the last few decades. Woodworking classes directly show students the value of labor. Students learn that the labor put into a task can result in a usable and attractive product. Woodworking also teaches the value of working in trades like carpentry. Students will learn how much skill and knowledge is required in order to work with wood professionally.

Put Academic Subjects into Context

Woodworking allows students to actually apply the knowledge learned in other classes. Woodworking can involve geometry, chemistry and physics. Students will be able to see the practical applications of different algorithms and formulas. This real-world context makes it easier to grasp increasingly complex concepts later.

Editor's Note: Peter Wendt lives and works in Austin, Texas. He always loved woodshop and it came in handy when he wanted to do some home improvement recently. He suggests the US Lumber Brokers website, which is one of his favorite sources.

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#1

Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/06/2013 5:51 AM

I enjoyed wood shop, metal shop, and I wish I would have taken auto shop.

Woodworking under Common Core:

Kids will will be instructed to gaze upon a 2 X 4, join hands, and collectively celebrate the life of the tree it came from; followed by quiet contemplation about what it was thinking as it was killed.

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#2
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/06/2013 9:36 AM

As they would tell you 'trees are people too' To which I say people are trees because we have too many saps and deadwood around now so someone needs to fire up a chainsaw and chipper and turn a good deal of 'tree people' into mulch.

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#3
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/06/2013 11:45 AM

My understanding is liability issues caused their demise. Little Susie losing a finger with a bandsaw would cost too much. Anyone else remember Bill Cosby "Why is there air"? A shoebox with two grooves becomes an ashtray, or the thought of putting a .22 in an apple and then tossing it in the furnace is also problematic. I remember this from 50 yrs ago, dinner last night, not so much.

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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/06/2013 1:39 PM

Yep, and I just read an article this morning about a study, (involving lots of people), that found that 1 in 3 American adults are pretty much incapable of problem solving.

We're gonna find out what "liability" really means, when we are populated by complete idiots that want someone else to all of the heavy lifting.

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#4
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/06/2013 1:29 PM

Thinking

Okay little man i can't run. I hope you can and fast cause I'm going to squash like bug when I fall.

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#6

Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/06/2013 3:01 PM

Yup, amen.
Great stuff wood.
Recently made a 100# draw weight Elm Warbow I shot an arrow 302 yards with it.
That's a PB.
I love trees, I try to treat 'em with respect, only cut what I need , try to replant more than I cut.
Del

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#7

Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/06/2013 4:22 PM


Now that's a classy ride...

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#8

Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/06/2013 11:25 PM

I was lucky! I learned woodworking and electrical at home, then had some more woodworking at school in 7th or 8th grade. But what really got me started was the required courses in metalworking in college.

All of these were "off topic" for my studies in Electronic Engineering and Physics, yet absolutely crucial to my later successes. I can't think of anything I'd trade for that hands-on experience.

It is a true travesty that such classes have disappeared, especially when almost no one learns any manual skills at home any more.

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#9

Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/07/2013 12:23 AM

Here in Canada, we have great reverence for wood. We install machines in our sawmills that reduce logs to rivers of 2x4's at the rate of 1 log/second....and done 24/7

No bows or arrows here! But the screaming of trees being disemboweled is horrendous!!

I've been extremely happy that the schools are gutting their hands on courses. I've populated both my machine shop and wood shops with ex-school machines, at a fraction of their new cost. Of course, I remember my own high school shop classes with fondness. Wouldn't want any kids nowadays to get hurt, though.

Jon.

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#23
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/08/2013 11:10 AM

I have done some pretty extensive reading on the recent problems had in BC sawmills. The BC Safety Authority was the producer of the material I read. The material was presented at recent meetings of CACES and the CEC Part I.

How have the recent tragedies changed process at the facility that you work at?

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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/08/2013 11:41 AM

I dunno. About the time this happened, my plant changed hands. The new employer didn't use engineers, so I hit the road after 25 years. I'm kinda semi-retired now.

I doubt much has changed, other than a bit more emphasis on dust control and some more dust collection systems.

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#25
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/09/2013 9:21 AM

"I've been extremely happy that the schools are gutting their hands on courses. I've populated both my machine shop and wood shops with ex-school machines, at a fraction of their new cost."

I'm glad you've gotten such good machines with so little wear (less than one shift per day, as opposed to machines that were running 24/7 since they were built) for such a low cost.

One question, though, who's going to train the operators to use those machines safely and efficiently? If the schools are cutting back on hands-on courses, and plants are eliminating apprenticeship programs to train operators, where are the skills taught?

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#49
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/12/2013 2:07 PM

You mean the ones that you will have to hire (and insure) that don't know squat because the school didn't teach them anything? The ones that will reach into the chipper to clear a clog while the power is still on.

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#10

Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/07/2013 5:41 AM

Last year a batch of around 25 ex students of our engineering college visited the college after 50 years. Alas we found pattern shop, fitting shop, smithy shop totally gone. Instead there were CNC machines and new labs.

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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/07/2013 5:49 AM

Yeah, I can imagine.
The problem with CAD CNC and such like is you can end up with designs by people who can do the maths, geometry etc but have no real feel or understanding for the materials.
You may as well the accountant to program the CNC... they are good with figures.
Obviousy you want the new guys to be at the fore front of technology, but I think they need the basics too so they can feel the force needed to cut or bend metal/wood etc.
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/07/2013 6:26 AM

Yes you are right. I am asking Principal at least teach boys to make Bows & Arrows by hand so they turn out to be good Robinhoods in future .

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#13
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/07/2013 6:30 AM

It's hard to put a finger on the reason why, but it seems like a really bad idea to allow the "old fashioned" way of doing things, to disappear.

It's kind of like letting kids use calculators for doing math, without ever learning how to do it on paper. Technology is great, but somehow I think we're going to end up getting bit in the arse, by the laziness that it cultivates.

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#22
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/08/2013 6:00 AM

I wouldn't even go that far.

My wife is a high end 3D CAD draftsperson who can draw anything in a highly realistic CGI renderings.

From there those files can be converted into another program that my brothers 3 axis CNC router uses to generate its 3D mapping something or others from.

Basically everything my wife draws can be replicated by my brothers CNC system and she has absolutely zero functional math skills.

To be honest she has been out in my shop while I am making something out of metal and she cant follow how I can come up with the needed lengths and angles and other geometry I need to make the proper cuts in steel sheets or other stock order fit parts together when I weld them.

Simple Sin, Cos, Tan or bisecting angles with a tape measure and paint pen type figuring off the top of my head just blows her away!

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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/12/2013 2:12 PM

not only do they not know materials, but they draw or model stuff that simply cannot be machined because they have no concept of how machine tools work.

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#51
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/12/2013 3:05 PM

Its sometimes not just the 'kids' who are ignorant of machining processes.

I often feel that I should list the plant's CNC operator as a co-creator of the construction drawings I do. I was trained in Electronics, and while I know the basics of mechanical systems, I often go to him with my preliminary drawings and sketches to get the advice of 'Will this work?'/'Is there an easier way to do this?'/'Am I forgetting a critical detail?' (such as neglecting to mark a radius on a milled inside corner and leaving it a hard 90 degree angle when I'm just marking a hole for a bulkhead connector and rounded inside corners are fine.)

If they're really worried about things like power tools, let the kids start out with Electric Shop: The first things we were taught there in High School was bending thinwall conduit. It's daunting to do right on your first ever attempt (especially if you don't have the body weight to assist the conduit bender properly) but you get to try, make mistakes, learn from them, and try again. These parents need to start using the critical thinking skills they were supposed to have developed while growing up and realize that there are always solutions. Don't like what's on TV? change the channel or turn it off and read a book. Don't like the 'dangers' of a certain class your kid wants to enroll in? Find an alternate class, or talk with the teacher and find out about the safety record of the shop (probably better safety record than your own place of business), don't try to shut the whole program down.

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#14

Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/07/2013 10:06 AM

The schools in our community excel in teaching math and science but have no really good extra courses to cater to students special interests and needs. There is band and sports but the pressure there is the same as for the standard course work. The kids are under trememdous pressure from parents, teachers, and themselves to do well. We have a high rate of high school suicides within the school. Another one this week. Not all students are capable of being scientists, even if their fathers or mothers were. Shop, Art, etc are extremely important to some young people. I wonder if the lack of them causes the increased rate of suicide. I wonder if a study could find a correlation. I know there are still a few schools that do still have a well rounded curriculum. Are they experiencing the same thing?

I only took school shop when required in the 7th and 8th grade, but I had a workshop full of tools at home and spent countless hours doing what I had learned. It made my college labs for EE a snap. The electrical stuff was always easy for me, but the hours working on other things on my own, made putting it together easier. During my career I spent some time recruiting from colleges and always tried to follow the new hires careers after hire to determine whether I had made a good choice or not. The top of class, A students did worst, the high C and low B students that worked their way through and had shop in high school did great, but the kids that grew up on a farm, worked their way through school, did the best, no matter what grades they got in school.

Industry needs to track the performance of new hires and total background to evaluate how to do a better job of hiring, then also communicate the findings back to the nation on how to improve schools. I don't think we are doing it right now, and the recent changes (last 25 years) I think have made it worse rather than better.

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#17
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/07/2013 11:40 AM

Had woodworking shop for my 7th and 8th grades, and machine shop for 9th grade. At my school , you could choose. Made lots of bowls etc, and I still have a large cribbage board that I made out of a piece of leftover Honduran Mahogany, that was an orphan, and not large enough to do anything else with. That was a valuable lesson, finding use in others waste. It took me a week to work it with, as it was so hard, and we were not allowed , for that project, to use any power tools. The shop was full of lathes, power saws, planers, sheet and drum sanders, all left over after the War, When the shop was in use, you couldn't hear a thing, with sign language being used. A 48" stationary planer can put out a lot of DB's!! Another lesson learned..Protect your hearing! A friend of mine was allowed to, and did, completely rebuild a 283 Chevy engine in Metal shop, stuck it in a Chevy Nomad, and instantly became the coolest kid on campus. Watching a project like that unfold , at that age, and then to see it work in the real world had a profound effect on me. You could build anything you wanted, at ANY AGE, as long as you took the time to research and understand the Principles of what you were trying to do. Alas, a few years later, both shops were dismantled, and the spaces renovated for other uses. Someone had injured himself , Legal action against the school ensued ( Pun intended), and the whole program was scrapped. Just because some kid was goofing around and hurt himself. The school couldn't afford to defend itself against suits like this, and that was the end of it. Sad.. Same thing has happened to our outdoor kids playgrounds, with the merrygorounds, and other sets, being removed after kids have fallen off of them, and their parents find a Lawyer who see deep Public pockets..

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#15

Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/07/2013 10:10 AM

I think I can trace the basis of all my 'craft' skills back to woodwork lessons at Rectory school in Hampton, Middx, UK, in the late 1940's. 'Charlie' Rouse was the teacher. "Gather round this bench lads" was his favourite teaching technique. Someone had been singled out for doing something right but more likely doing something wrong, and being subjected to the critical (puzzled) scrutiny of the whole class.

In those days there were no power tools. It was all done by hand. But we did have a small electric bench drill. We made useful things like tea-pot stands, matchbox holders and small tool boxes. We had proper technical drawing lessons where each item we made had to be drawn fist

The tool box was the interesting one with dovetail joints. "make sure you put the handle on the side that is locked onto the dovetails so that the box does not fall apart when you pick it up".

Excellent logic I thought. So at the drawing board I went one better and drew my box with double dovetails on each side so that neither side could slide apart.

"that is an excellent drawing for which you 10/10. As for the box itself you get 0/10" said Mr.Rouse. Why? I protested. Well he said "how are you going to assemble it?" Whoops!. That was my first memorable lesson.

My second lesson can be traced back to the drawing board as well. In the final exam, we had to draw a simple hangman's gallows. The base was a simple cross with 4 gussets at 45o to support the upright post. The horizontal top beam was supported by a single gusset that had an angle of 40o to the upright.

None of us had problems with front, side and plan drawings, but translating them to the isometric view caused a lot of problems - the angle of top gusset as you can guess.

Only two of us finished the drawing in the time allowed. We both got good marks 1st and 2nd in the class. I came 2nd - and pleased with the result until I found out that the lad who came 1st drew the gusset angles wrong, whereas I got them exactly right, but only after a number of goes at it - ie, rubbing out the wrongs lines and redrawing them.

I asked why I had lost marks, and was told that there were marks for neatness, and I lost marks for a messy drawing where I had rubbed out the wrong lines (it was not my fault they supplied an awful rubber). The other lad lost marks for errors in the angles - but not as many as me. So I came 2nd.

To this day, I still wonder about the fairness of it, because how can it be right that a 'wrong' drawing in a technical context, because it is 'pretty', can score more marks than an accurate drawing that is 'messy'.

I am not complaining about the value of my mark as such, 96% is something to be pleased about, but it was coming 2nd in the class to someone who came 1st with 98% for getting it wrong.

So what is the message of this lesson. But whatever the reason I think the craft skills taught at the time have been of enormous benefit to me.

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#16
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/07/2013 10:28 AM

Ah! The other lesson it taught you is.

"Life's not fair"
I'm sure we all have similar tales of injustice.
Mine was 3 boys being seen throwing fireworks... someone complaine laer that 2 boys had thrown a firework at a girl (she wasn't hurt). It was assumed that one of them was me!
So me and one other lad were told to to her house and oppologise.
I insisted we all 3 went and, having opologised I asked which two was it?

She pointed out the other two...
I learned a big lesson that day.
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#18
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/07/2013 12:07 PM

I hear you loud and clear no that one. Guilt by indirect association was usually my #1 crime in school.

If anything happened anywhere and I was seen even remotely close to the point of the incident I was automatically tossed in with whomever did whatever they did without question.

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#19
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/07/2013 11:24 PM

Éminence grise, probably.

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#21
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/08/2013 5:53 AM

Well yea sort of.

But I always denied it!

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#20
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/08/2013 5:17 AM

Hey Del, Did she not came with you for a date ?.

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#26

Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/09/2013 9:24 AM

Probably there are safety issues behind the "fading away" of woodworking. It is always probable that accidents can happen while the kids are using -potentially dangerous- tools like saws and drills. And such accidents could be quite serious or even lethal.

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#27
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/09/2013 9:52 AM

So, what has changed? We have been teaching children woodworking since... well, it's hard to determine when we first started teaching woodworking since there are no written records from back then, ("Third day of sixth moon of year of fruitbat: Today Thag teach his son, Thud, how to make bucket for water. Whole tribe celebrated.") but we've been using power tools for woodworking since the Industrial Revolution, and teaching kids how to use the power tools since they were first put into the mills and factories (no child labor laws back then, remember). What has changed in recent years to make the time-honored traditions of two centuries suddenly 'too dangerous' to teach?

At least I know these Vital Skills will not be completely lost: here in America we have whole communities that remember the value of Good Honest Labor. We refer to them as Our German Friends when speaking of them as a whole, but they have many names, such as the Amish, the Mennonites, and the Quakers.

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#28
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/10/2013 11:10 AM

"What has changed in recent years to make the time-honored traditions of two centuries suddenly 'too dangerous' to teach?"

Whining special interest groups and people who don't have the backbone or brass ones to stand up to them.

My HS shop pretty well got torn to bits by a local woman who was afraid her and everyone elses kids would get hurt in class. Same over opinionated battle ax woman whose husband went to prison for life for being a pediphile.

Personally I for one think she should have been on another more home focused child saving/protecting crusade.

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#29
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/10/2013 12:12 PM

Next on the chopping block is high school sports...and letter grades.

They claim these things are mean and dangerous, but what they really hate, is anything that places any type of skill or power with the individual.

They want school to be a socialist collective, where there is never any competition, and everybody gets a participation award.

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#30
In reply to #29

Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/10/2013 12:17 PM

... and sings "Kumbya" three times a day.

Why do we strive for the lowest common denominator nowadays?

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#31
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/10/2013 12:26 PM

Because we don't teach anything past basic math.

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#32
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/10/2013 12:29 PM

Some of these initiatives can be blamed on the unions...they are dead set against anything that can highlight poor teaching practises. And comparing grades between schools and teachers with a common curriculum puts them square in the crosshairs, where schools and teaching quality CAN be compared.

As someone else pointed out, the lowest common denominator...that's where unions are wanting to be.

Jon.

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#33
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/10/2013 12:52 PM

Personally I wouldn't mind seeing sports get tossed. To me they are a load of wasted money and ground space that could be put to better use educating more kids properly.

Good exercise and personal health and fitness education classes yes!

Sports for the sake of claiming whose team of knuckle dragging ball chasing rock heads is "the best at something that no one will remember or care about a few months later at the cost of billions in school and private funds nationwide every year hell no.

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#34
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/10/2013 2:42 PM

I wasn't a big sports nut, and still am not.

I don't think sports programs should cost the schools a lot of money, and that parents and sponsors can kick in the bulk of it...but college teams make lots of money for the school, and I'd rather have sports programs than have to deal with the cost of having kids out getting high, tagging stuff with graffitti, destroying property, playing the knockout game, joining gangs, etc.

A lot of parents become complete idiots over sports, but overall, I think it's good for kids to have available.

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#35
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/10/2013 4:48 PM

And collegiate sports are nothing but bastions of virtue:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_State_Seminoles_football#Sexual_assault_allegations

https://www.change.org/petitions/investigate-tallahassee-police-department-s-handling-of-jameis-winston-case

I think I'd prefer for my daughter to lose a finger in wood shop than for her to get molested by a football player.

Not saying ALL jocks are rapists, but when the rapists are 'protected' like this, it just sends a message that 'If you're a jock you can get away with anything, as long as your team is making money.'

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#36
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/10/2013 5:07 PM

Get your daughter a gun and teach her how to use it. That's the best way to deal with rapists, whether they play sports or not.

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#37

Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/10/2013 9:11 PM

When somebody sues for jamming a reed under their fingernail, basket-weaving will disappear too.

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#38
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/11/2013 5:13 AM

No more dangerous sewing machines in home ec.

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#39
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/11/2013 5:52 AM

Exactly...It's not the politicians or unions.
Its the 'entilement' culture and litigious lawyers encouraging people to sue at the drop of a hat leaving organisations spending more time and money covering their backsides than doing their job!
Unfortunately it rapidly spread of the water to the UK... thanks guys.
Del

(You drop that hat on my foot and I'll sue!)

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#40
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/11/2013 7:09 AM

It's all of the above.

As politicians run out of things to "protect" us from, they must constantly invent more bogeymen, or risk being seen as irrelevant.

The lawyers suck too, but they should be able to be dealt with, with a signed permission slip from the parents, promising not to sue if their kid gets hurt.

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#41
In reply to #39

Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/11/2013 9:22 AM

Quick, kill all the lawyers before it goes too far!

Not sure if you guys need to target Barristers and Solicitors or just the Solicitors, but too many lawyers in an area is Bad News.

(Obviously this post is satiric, as well as pulling out an old joke. Anyone who takes my comments in this post seriously deserves all the ridicule they will get.)

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#42
In reply to #39

Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/11/2013 9:42 AM

Exactly...It's not the politicians or unions.
Its the 'entitlement' culture and litigious lawyers encouraging ....

But the majority of politicians are lawyers and the unions use the lawyers to their advantage (notice I didn't say to the advantage of the worker)

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#52
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

08/20/2014 9:28 AM

The proverbial nail on the head, at least to me. More time is spent in CYA than actually doing something productive. It's a shame the world has become what it really is. What ever happened to trust and honesty¿¿

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#43

Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/11/2013 5:04 PM

It's filthy little cretins like this that end up in wood shop. Part of the reason the PC police want wood shop gone, is because people that work with their hands, are considered to be low life scum, and there's no place for it in our schools.

http://www.ijreview.com/2013/12/100858-6-year-old-first-grader-suspended-school-sexual-harassment-adorable-gesture/

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#44
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/11/2013 6:49 PM

In a round about way... society is paying the price for that attitude. A whole generation of kids got the impression that unless they did not get a university degree they did not count for much. So... a lot of kids went and got absolutely useless degrees that do not convert into good paying and rewarding careers.

What do we end up with? A real lack of skilled folks in the trades and other occupations that create most of the real wealth in our societies.

Industry did not help either! So many of them exchanged their training and apprentice programs for another few pennies of profit.

Today... we all reap the rewards. No skilled and trained trades folk to build, maintain and repair the things that make our so called "civilization" run.

In short... it is a real good time to be a trained and capable trades person.

Young parents with high school kids... if you want your kids to have well paying meaningful careers where they can contribute to our common good... steer them to the trades!

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#45
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/11/2013 7:27 PM

Add to that the incredible number of paper pushers whose jobs keep track of and regulate (slow down) those who do produce stuff.

Can you imagine how much we could do if most of the lawyers, accountants, tax collectors, politicians, etc. were in jobs that actually designed and created goods?

In the USA, a very good place to start would be to establish a flat tax of whatever kind, and retrain the employees of the IRS and all the tax consultants to do something constructive.

Ditto for tort reform...

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#46
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/11/2013 7:34 PM

Agreed... but yet... some times regulation is needed. I shudder to think what deployed electrical systems would look like if were not for folk in my line of work.

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#47
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/11/2013 7:46 PM

Absolutely! ... as per your tag line. I'm sure you've seen the photos of power/telephone poles in places like India.

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#48
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Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

12/12/2013 6:34 AM

All very true. I didn't mean to throw everything OT, I just included the link, because I think that political correctness is a major part of the problem.

I had a flyer from the tech school near me, in my mailbox yesterday, and saw something encouraging.

They now have courses in construction related fields, which is awesome!

I think these include things like roofing, framing, brick and stone work, tile, .....

All things that can earn a person a living.

With less people getting into that type of work, demand will only cause the wages to grow.

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#53

Re: Hands-On Learning: Why Woodworking In Schools Is Important

01/04/2021 1:21 PM

This old thread is still relevant today (2021). There does seem to be a resurgence of information. They stopped Roy Underhills PBS program, The Woodwrights Shop and he ended up with his own school. He was doing well, using a variety of instructors. Several standouts would be Lost Art Press and their books, or Mortise & Tenon Magazine for excellent articles (no ads!). There are a large number of schools in the United States and getting into them is hard due to fast registrations filling them up. Some of the schools cater mostly to women (A Workshop of Our Own "WOO" and School of Woodwork). The School of Woodwork even has free scholarships for women. I have been helping a friend who is starting up a green woodworking school in the Catskills of New York. Woodworking is making a comeback. Lost Art Press has one book called "The Anarchist Tool Chest" that shows how to build most the furniture in your home with about forty hand tools. The furniture build will last a lifetime, unlike the flimsy stuff from Ikea. (Anarchy in this sense is more the original meaning, to disrupt the status quo, without violence, etc.).

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