The death of Industrial Technology in education.
OK, maybe we aren't dead, but we are on our way to extinction. I have even been told not to refer to myself as a shop teacher, because I am limiting myself. I see it not as limiting, rather something I take pride in. I love to work with my hands and more importantly teach with them.
I have noticed that the skills that I assume necessary for technology education are much different now than when I was in school. At first this scared me because I enjoy the type of old-school traditional TechEd classes such as metal, woods, and auto shop. Now classes tend to be robotics, drafting or computer aided manufacturing. What is changing?
I see the need for this type of schooling, but I don't want to neglect the students that are like me and really enjoyed welding, wood working and fixing my own car; all things that I still do on a daily basis. For many of my high-school classmates it provides a satisfying and well paying career. Where am I going with all this? We need to satisfy the needs of students that will enter a vocational career and those students who will enter college to pursue engineering, technology and other careers.
The only way to satisfy all of these needs is to collaborate between content areas. I attest that technology education should lead the way by incorporating as much of other areas as possible. Typically our classes have the least amount of standards and standardized testing and is the easiest to incorporate with subjects such as mathematics and the sciences. I have researched and read articles for other classes and spoke with current TechEd teachers. They all point towards the fact that other content areas "don't have time" to collaborate.
It is my opinion that teachers don't want to volunteer themselves for anymore work [I don't blame them]. That's fine, just give me your lesson plans and I will sculpt my curriculum to match yours. I am willing to take on that responsibility. Give it a chance, the only negative may be a little more communication between content areas maybe a weekly meeting or even just emails. Please help me save my job!
"Shop class is dead and so are the potential trades people that would be born out of that early exposure to a tool or machine."-Forbes Magazine