I agreeto Idea Add shop classes to curriculum
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Add shop classes to curriculum

Put shop classes back into the high schools. Not everyone wants to or needs to go to university to have a successful life.

Submitted by billsully21 6 months ago

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  1. The idea was posted
    6 months ago

Comments (16)

  1. Pinned Moderator

    Here is some background on the current high school curriculum for technological education (PDF): http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/secondary/2009teched1112curr.pdf

    Bill Sully, I see woodworking and transportation technology courses in there.

    6 months ago
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  2. There are plenty of university degreed plumbers in the world, the two are not exclusive, indeed many of the plumbers with university degrees are the more successful ones.

    6 months ago
    5 Agreed
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  3. The government can't afford all the trimmings of a high school education when they have entirely duplicate English and French Catholic school systems to pay for. Blame the selfish vested interests who insist on us continuing to do that.

    6 months ago
    3 Agreed
    5 Disagreed
  4. There are many 'shop' classes in the secondary school system - auto, drafting, construction, cooking and woodworking, just to name a few.

    6 months ago
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    1. Unfortunately not at many high schools. These programs need to be available to more kids.

      6 months ago
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  5. Shop classes are still in High schools.. At least the one where I live. I can imagine that some inner city schools don't have auto classes due to space constraints, however.

    6 months ago
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  6. Yes, these classes do still exist in the school system. Availability does depend on resources, interest, and a qualified teacher, but that's the case with many other high school courses as well. Also, I'll second the opinion that taking shop class and going to university are not mutually exclusive; that's a rather silly suggestion, I'm sorry to say so. I went to university and took a shop class just because it's fun to learn.

    6 months ago
    2 Agreed
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  7. Behind this idea, I see a broader goal: increased emphasis on technical education. Ontario universities consistently say that they focus on research not jobs for graduates. Somehow, in Ontario, we have come to value a theoretical education over a practical one. Our community colleges are seen to provide a second class education (hence their desire to be called universities).

    The truth is that we need both theorists and technical achievers. Shop class needs to get more respect. The student who is a better "doer" than "thinker" is valuable to the Ontario economy.

    6 months ago
    4 Agreed
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  8. While I think shop type classes are still available in many schools, the broader issue is that 'shop' type professions are hardly encouraged and promoted by teachers, guidance councilors, and the school itself.

    The skills taught in shop are crucial in our increasingly-digital society. I attended a workshop on the local economy recently. One of my suggestions was promoting the art of repair. When it's cheaper and easier to throw away our furniture, electronics and other goods than to buy new ones, we're perpetuating a throw-away culture that is neither environmentally nor economically sustainable.

    Promoting technical skills such as those taught in shop classes, even if they're not later used in a student's career, should be an integral part of a high school education.

    6 months ago
    4 Agreed
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  9. I agree that students should be encouraged to explore the possibility of making a living at a trade vs a white collar job. There is nothing wrong with trades and we have a desperate need for good tradespeople.

    I agree with Mike, "Promoting technical skills such as those taught in shop classes, even if they're not later used in a student's career, should be an integral part of a high school education."

    6 months ago
    4 Agreed
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  10. Might be easier if we went to a Collegiate v. Vocational set up. I've seen focused Vocational Schools. It's astounding the variety of programmes they were able to offer. Excellent amount of choice and paths. However, we do have the co-operative education and SHSM programmes in place, and well as some inroads to apprenticeship. Definitely need to start selling the value of these programmes to parents.

    6 months ago
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  11. I can only speak for the schools in my area, but Shop classes were still offered as part of the curriculum. I think the more pressing issue is that guidance counsellors push most students into university programs due to the perceived (but incorrect) notion that you have to attend university to be successful.

    I think that it would also be prudent to make basic financial management courses a part of the required curriculum, where people could also learn about the income that can be expected in different industries (possibly helping with the stigma associated with the trades).

    6 months ago
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  12. Shop classes still exist in Ontario Curriculum... they're just not mandatory for students to take. And it is my understanding that secondary schools only offer 'technical education' classes when there is a demand for them -- if not enough students register for these kind of classes, then schools will not have the means to run a course.

    Furthermore, Ontario has SHSM - Specialist High Skills Major programs in some secondary schools which does address this topic.

    6 months ago
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  13. I also agree that these programs are in place, however, there is no apprenticeship stream and that is part of the problem. There is also two other factors: capital investment to purchase and update our schools infrastructure and declining enrollment. With fewer students attending our schools, fewer classes in all areas can be offered.

    6 months ago
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  14. This is a hard call but the availability of these classes should be in the larger city centres. As for the out lying areas bussing in of students and possibly temporary housing might be needed.Unions have the advantage here and the Harper government want to destroy it

    5 months ago
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  15. One of my boys went into a trade. He needed to upgrade his science/math, because the "apprenticeship" level was not accepted by the post secondary institute. He upgraded at nightschool his final year of high school. This perseverance paid off, and he is quite successful.

    As an educator, I know that we (university educated) teachers can be blind as to the opportunities. However, I have also seen an influx of tradespeople going into the high schools to become teachers. (See Queen's University for the Teacher Training courses for trades.) As well, there are opportunities to begin apprenticeships while in high school (i.e., OYAP). Secondary education is changing, but, like any good change, sometimes we have to keep pushing to see it all the way through. Parents, also, have to change their own beliefs. There is still an attitude of "my child is going to have a better job than I had" from people who have provided an honest income to their families through their own tech/trades/hands-on type of occupation. Kid's are learning, from their own families, that there is a level of shame and physical hardship associated with these occupations.

    5 months ago
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