In Boston's North End is a massive 65,000-square-foot facility known as the North Bennet Street School. Originally founded in 1879, today they offer programs in Bookbinding, Cabinet and Furniture Making, Carpentry, Jewelry Making and Repair, Locksmithing and Security Technology, Piano Technology, Preservation Carpentry and Violin Making and Repair. Anyone 18 or older can apply.
Intriguingly, they began incorporating the principles of Sloyd education all the way back in 1885, and still practice it today:
Pauline Agassiz Shaw, the school's founder, was a visionary educator and proponent of the Swedish system of manual training known as "sloyd" which means "craft" or "hand skills." The sloyd method focused on the development of character and intellectual capacity as well as technical skills. The method encourages students to systematically develop hand skills along with an understanding of tools, materials, processes and a sense of care and commitment to excellence. Shaw saw the school's mission as teaching the "whole person" both how to make a living and how to live a fuller life.
Today, the philosophy of sloyd remains at the heart of the school. Full-time programs provide intensive, hands-on training in a structured framework with a focus on practical projects. Each project builds on previous learning and requires students to solve increasingly complex problems.
Here's a look at the school and what they offer:
"Working at the bench," the school writes, "remains the most important part of each program — providing a practical context for students to receive and apply information and advice from instructors who are masters of their craft."
In addition to the full-time programs, NBSS also offers shorter courses and continuing education workshops; looking through the Woodworking classes alone makes me wish I lived closer to Boston. You can learn more here.