Wednesday, November 13, 2013

21 reasons...

A friend at the Northeast Woodworking Teachers Association and I came up with this list of:

21 Reasons Why School Wood Shops are Important in the 21st Century
A quality woodworking program provides experiences far more important than those typically associated with woodshop. Courses, like woodworking, where students use their hands build confidence, strength of character, and problem solving capabilities useful in all careers and in every educational experience. Furthermore, working with a natural material in a creative manner assists students in connecting the relevance of other subject material to their daily lives.
  1. Assists students in communicating and
    understanding ideas non-verbally, through
    sketches and technical drawings.
  2. Enhances the skills of spatial visualization
    required for geometry, trigonometry and algebra,
    thereby helping students to prepare for careers
    in engineering, architecture and science.
  3. Provides students with take-home, physical
    evidence of their mastery of skills.
  4. Instills a pride of accomplishment and
  5. Gives the student the opportunity to execute
    precise work and to produce useful products,
    and become “self-assessors” using measuring
    tools, squares, etc. and then the fit of things to
    self-assess the quality of their work.
  6. Trains the eye and hand to see accurately and
    to feel the sense of beauty in form.
  7. Inculcates the habits of attention, perseverance
    and patience.
  8. Offers opportunities for students to go where
    their hearts demand by selecting designs and
    projects that motivate them not only as a
    woodworker but also as a student.
  9. Provides opportunities for students to overcome
    setbacks that occur when working on real
  10. Provides relevancy of other subject matter to
    their lives, thereby preparing them for a lifetime
    of learning.
  11. Provides non-academic areas for demonstration
    of skills and pursuit of excellence.
  12. Provides a non-contrived opportunity for
    engagement of multiple intelligences.
  13. Provides an opportunity to engage physically
    and actively in learning exercises.
  14. Provides an opportunity for engagement and
    success even for those disinclined for academic
  15. Helps students gain confidence as real world
    problem solvers.
  16. Helps students gain confidence in tools use and
    learn safety considerations required for a career,
    lifetime of general home maintenance or a
    life-long hobby.
  17. Offers an appreciation for the values inherent
    in physical labor and the work contributions of
  18. Connects students to thousands of years of
    human creative endeavor.
  19. Provides a much-needed break from oppressive
    classroom routine.
  20. Helps students to better understand the sources
    and process of technological change, placing
    human development in historical context.
  21. Is a class that students enjoy!
Just in case you would like to help your local schools see the light, this list might help. I had class with my lower elementary school students this morning, my middle school students this afternoon, and I am packing for New York. I was reminded to reprint this list by an article in

Make, fix and create...


  1. Great list.
    I think I will print it out and give it to my sons woodworking teacher.


  2. I have a pdf. of it that I can send to you if you like. Please make use of it. Woodworking teachers need to use materials like this to make sure parents and administrators know the value of their programs.

  3. I would like a pdf of the list please.

    I think my mail address is in the system?

    For some reason my name in the first comment was followed by the anti robot letters :-)