Thursday, August 7, 2008

Minnesota Trip - Part Three

The big statue is Iron Man, located across the street from Iron World. We got the opportunity to do some research for our required projects here. We also road the trolley car around the perimeter of the grounds. Nice little tour in a restored trolley car that was originally from Australia.

The Iron Range Resource people put out a little quarterly paper, The Range View, that had an interesting article in the Spring issue about the upcoming need for skilled people in the area. There are a couple of big developments on the way for the Iron Range and there aren't going to be enough people to handle all of the construction and staffing requirements of the next few years. One of the most interesting things mentioned, at least to me, was the reintroduction of industrial technology classes in 17 area high schools. Of course, Shop Teacher Bob is wondering what they've been teaching if they haven't had shop classes.

Hibbing High School at one time offered a 14 year educational opportunity. You could get an associates degree after completing your high school requirements. It looks like the pendulum is swinging back that way again. Education often times seems to take the path of advertising. They want to sell people on the idea of a created want, rather than give you what you really need. There were quite a few teachers on the trip who taught AP History. I'm all in favor of teaching history, but I wonder what the job market is for historians compared to some of the skilled trades. Perhaps the education system should be a little more grounded in the basics at the high school level and let the two and four year colleges teach the advanced history, geography and biology. I'm sure many Advanced Placement teachers would say the same about teaching some of the vocational programs. The idea of spending another optional year or two in high school to get an associates degree is probably something we could all agree on, however.

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