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September 27, 2011


Mike Rose has written well about the Mind at Work: the cognitive value of "manual" skill.
I am a college professor, but I worked summer with my dad when he was a plumbing/electrical contractor.
Both jobs can be cognitively demanding but also remunerative and rewarding.

We can feel romantically attached to the liberal arts (I teach at a liberal arts school) but also devoted to the value of the trades, and it doesn't have to be to enforce current class stratification.

College is great, but the same kind of college is not great for everybody, and we shouldn't all be college professors. Accepting the value of a college education doesn't have to mean denigrating everything else, but too often in today's education debate it does.

This made me think of the documentary "Pressure Cooker" that highlighted a cooking class in a Philadelphia high school that leads to students competing in the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program, which provides scholarships to culinary programs for HS seniors.

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