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study promises material reward and he seizes the chance to turn it to account in the vocational training of his child.
Manual training in some form is here to stay. The teacher needs it in teaching not one subject, but most subjects; the public demands it because it offers the most obvious means of beginning the training for vocational life. Under the combined influence of pedagogical needs and public demands, the content of our manual training courses has been radically changed within the past decade. In the effort to give free expression to the child, all manner of projects have been carried out through hand work. Woolly sheep have sported with polar bears under fir trees set in a desert of sand. Bookbinding and block houses, Indian war bonnets and waterwheels, ink wells and Navajo blankets, bent iron jimcracks and raffia baskets, book shelves and dolls' clothes, broom holders and picture frames—all these and a thousand more mixt up in indescribable confusion! Is it any wonder that some one should raise the cry of fads and frills? The wonder is that any one should try to justify such work in school on any ground other than mere recreation. Absurd as it may seem when one reads over a list of manual projects actually put before our children in school, there has been consistent progress along two lines: (1) in the usableness of the completed article, and (2) in the design and artistic finish given to it. The difficulty of children's making really usable things contrasted with the ease of executing artistic design has largely changed the character of manual training within the past ten years. In fact, manual training today is little more than applied design. In this respect it is quite worth while. It is the best thing that has come into our schools in recent years, and we can not afford to lose it.
Manual training as applied design is a subject quite different from the sloyd and formal projects of twenty years ago. If manual discipline is no longer wanted for itself, one may ask why the term manual training should be retained. Why not combine with drawing and call it all "art" or "applied design”? Another question—Why should we have distinct courses in the household arts in the lower grades of the ele
mentary schools? The work done in these lines is either applied design or training in the technic of housewifery. This consideration raises another question: What is the place of vocational training in the elementary school?
One characteristic of the American school system is apparently fixt. The work of the first six years of the elementary school is fundamental, the same for all regardless of sex or future occupation. Six years of schooling is the usual legal requirement, and there is a consensus of opinion that specialization should not begin before the twelfth or thirteenth year of age.
Some would defer it two years or more, but the number of children leaving school at or before the end of the sixth grade warrants the attempt to make the work of the first six years of the elementary course complete in itself, and as comprehensive as possible. Such a course should be cultural in the best sense, a course calculated to put the child in possession of his inheritance as a human being and fit him to enter upon whatever work may be expected of him in the years immediately following. With six years of good fundamental training, the child is ready at thirteen or fourteen to look forward to his life work. The physiological age suggests differentiation for the sexes. For those who go to college, it is time to begin specialization along academic lines; for those who are to become artizans or farmers or tradesmen, as soon as possible, it is time to begin vocational training. Specialization at the age of twelve to fourteen years should begin gradually, and in the vocational lines it should be essentially preparatory to the later years of trade school or apprentice training. My point is that when the boy or girl hears the call of vocational life, specialization should begin and gradually narrow into technical training for specific occupations—for some at the age of twenty-five in professions; for others at the age of sixteen in the trades. Between these extremes will be found most vocations in which men and women engage. A fundamental course of six years, at once cultural and preparatory to the widest possible range of differentiated courses beginning with the seventh grade, is the chief desideratum of our American school system.
The present curriculum of our public schools, as I have already shown, is chiefly composed of humanistic and scientific subjects. We have made an attempt to introduce certain industrial and household arts, but they are so lacking in coherency as to raise serious doubts of their value as fundamental subjects. Nevertheless, there is another subject of instruction as fundamental as any now contained in the curriculum. If the humanistic studies are essential in the training of the child in his social relations, and the scientific in his relations to the physical world in which he lives, it is equally important that economic studies be included in the curriculum to provide instruction in the industries from which man gains his material possessions. Of course, I do not mean economic studies in the elementary school for the sake of technical training in any industry any more than I advocate the study of poetry in the grades for the training of the poet, or design for the artist, or biology for the physician. I mean the study of industries for the sake of a better perspective on man's achievements in controlling the production, distribution, and consumption of the things which constitute his material wealth. For these he labors his life long; on the use he makes of them depend much of his own happiness and the well-being of his fellows. It is only by means of such studies, whether pursued systematically in schools or picked up under the adverse conditions of after life, that we acquire the basis of judgment concerning the acts and aspirations of our fellow-men, either those who provide the capital for exploiting natural resources or those who do the work required in the several industrial pursuits. In our political life, no knowledge is of more consequence than that which is concerned with the relations of capital and labor; for us as a people there is nothing more to be desired than a sympathetic understanding of the conditions under which men earn their living. Is a liberal education possible in this age without a knowledge of these things which more than all others make men free or leave them slaves ? A threefold division
division of the curriculum-humanistic, scientific, industrial—has the advantage over the present twofold division not only in providing a more liberal education, but also in affording a better preparation for the differentiated courses which begin in the grammar school. The training now given in language and literature, and in the arts and sciences of the elementary school, is of prime importance as a preparation for any course that a child may pursue later on; in some respects, no other training can approach it in practical worth even for the work of the lowest grade of trade school. Nevertheless, it is an assured fact that our boys and girls do not enter industrial life with the same confidence that they exhibit in other fields for which their academic training has fitted them. They see no fascination in industrial activity and they have no basis of judgment for choosing any particular career. The fault is largely due to avoidance of industrial instruction in the schools, as something degrading if not positively unclean, and the setting up in its place of unattainable ideals at variance with the actual conditions of society. I would not check the ambition of any American child, however high the goal—it is his birthright as an American citizen—but I would have the school help him define the aim of his life in terms of his own natural endowment and possible attainment. The child has a right to this kind of guidance; the school must give it, and what the school gives must be determined by sympathetic instruction along the lines leading to the goal.
The public, in giving support to manual training and the household arts, undoubtedly intends these subjects to promote closer relationship between the school and vocational life; some teachers of these subjects unquestionably do use them with precisely this intent; but efficient instruction presupposes something definite to teach and a consistent way of teaching it. Subtract from our present manual training course that which is essentially applied design and those exercises which are intended to afford motor expression in the learning of other subjects in the curriculum, and what is left is an incoherent, unorganized series of projects without purposes or educational value. However good the artistic treatment, and however desirable the assistance given in acquiring knowledge of other subjects, the results now obtained contrast most unfavorably with what might be secured from a series of projects harmoniously organized to attain a specific end and at the same time incidentally to provide for the necessary motor expression and all needful application of artistic design. In other words, motor expression and art training may as well be secured as byproducts in doing something worth while as by making them ends in themselves. Whatever value may attach to the subjectmatter in such procedure is clear gain. The plan I propose, therefore, is intended to retain all that is of real worth in manual training and at the same time to get something still more to be desired. It is precisely the plan long followed by good teachers of reading and writing. The child in his reading may as well read the best of literature as the poorest, and in writing learn how to express himself clearly, concisely, and in good form as to follow everlastingly a copy-plate.
It may be interjected at this point that some teachers of manual training have used the subject as a means of introducing the child to the complexities of social life, that it has been a means of socializing him, that it has given him a chance to find himself in the midst of a highly artificial and conventional environment. If this be true, and the aim is certainly not an unworthy one, the end may as well be attained by putting the activities proposed on the high plane of real life.
The problem, then, is to organize the information within the industrial field in such a way as to make it valuable, first, in the education of the masses and, second, in technical training for specific vocations. There is no lack of information; what is knowable in any industry is beyond the reach of any one save the most expert specialist, and even he is tantalized by his inability to grasp all within his reach. That a field is large, overwhelmingly large, ought not to deter the educator from entering it. The scientific field, for example, is large, overwhelmingly large, but when it is systematically classified the teacher is in a position to select that which may have educational value even for the youngest child. Without classification it might be possible to teach much of practical value, but the school course from infancy to adult life would present a sorry spectacle. The logical arrangement of scientific in