When manual training was first offered to American students, some parents of poor children were concerned that it would cause further separation between classes. Ultimately it did, when schools began to routinely separate those students planning to go to college from those who were not, and thus began de facto class separation at the high school level. The following is from the prospectus of the manual training school at Washington University established by Dr. Calvin Woodward:
"One great object of the school is to foster a higher appreciation of the value and dignity of intelligent labor, and the worth and respectability of laboring men. A boy who sees nothing in manual labor but the mere brute force despises both labor and the laborer. With the acquisition of skill in himself comes the ability and willingness to recognize skill in his fellows. When once he appreciates skill in handicraft, he regards the workman with sympathy and respect."At that time, manual training was seen as having purpose in the education of all students. Now we have a system of education that sustains cultural bias against the hands and the labor of the hands, and isolates millions of students from the discovery that they might find greater meaning through expression of skill in the creation of useful beauty. It sucks, don't you think?