Sunday, May 24, 2009
New York Times Magazine: The Case for Working With Your Hands
In an excerpt from his upcoming book, Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work, Matthew B. Crawford makes a very compelling case (I think) for bringing back shop class, and for us to consider the return of the value of manual trades. I particularly loved this paragraph:
"A gifted young person who chooses to become a mechanic rather than to accumulate academic credentials is viewed as eccentric, if not self-destructive. There is a pervasive anxiety among parents that there is only one track to success for their children. It runs through a series of gates controlled by prestigious institutions. Further, there is wide use of drugs to medicate boys, especially, against their natural tendency toward action, the better to “keep things on track.” I taught briefly in a public high school and would have loved to have set up a Ritalin fogger in my classroom. It is a rare person, male or female, who is naturally inclined to sit still for 17 years in school, and then indefinitely at work."
(photo by me)