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sacrifice of a student's general training. But the success or failure of such a combined intellectual and industrial work, however, depends entirely upon one's point of view. If the chief emphasis is laid upon industries, skill, rapid progress, or the gaining of wealth, then the result will be a great loss intellectually; but if we give our greatest attention to the student and strive to use the best means for giving him a complete training of all his faculties, then we are sure of success both intellectually and industrially
I believe that we all agree that the best educated man is the one whose intellect is trained to co-operate in the purpose of human progress; in other words, “one who consciously and deliberately holds an intellectual ideal of what he himself and other men are capable of becoming and who has in some measure the knowledge and skill to put this ideal into practice.”
The kind of industrial training with which I am acquainted is calculated to give an important part of general education valuable equally to the future man of letters, the physician or the lawyer as well as to the future tradesman and mechanic. It is that work which Prof. Wm. James so well describes in his “ Talk to Teachers” when he says, “ The most colossal improvement which recent years have seen in secondary education lies in the introduction of the manual training schools; not because they will give us a people more handy and practical for domestic life, and better skilled in trades, but because they will give us citizens of an entirely different intellectual fibre.”
Again he says, “ Of the various systems of manual training so far as woodwork is concerned, the Swedish sloyd system, if I may have an opinion on such matters, seems to me by far the best psychologically considered.”
Sloyd is an educational agent that advances toward a definite aim, and bases its activities upon universal educational principles. It differs from other forms of manual training :
1. In aiming at ethical rather than at technical results, and at general organic development rather than at special skill.
2. In insisting upon the employment of professionally trained teachers instead of persons with merely mechanical skill.
3. In advancing through rationally progressive exercises, where the tools are used to produce objects which are not only artistically good, but which are also of special interest through their serviceableness to the worker. Their appeal to the interest must be through the good purpose for which they are fashioned. In sloyd the motive is of supreme importance.
4. In striving after gymnastically correct working positions and in encouraging the use of both the right and left sides of the body.
5. In giving to each individual opportunity to progress according to his peculiar ability.
I believe that we should keep in mind this general educational idea in industrial training throughout the secondary schools, always adapting methods to the individual's need rather than specializing or trying to further the prevailing industries in certain localities through the children in secondary schools.
Perhaps it would be safe to say that very few boys and girls have any definite idea about their future calling before the ages of seventeen or eighteen years.
As for my own experience, I did not know what profession I should enter, though I felt quite sure, however, what occupation I would not choose.
Because of this lack of a definite aim for the future, we must give to the boys and girls a preparation which will be of value to them in whatever field they enter.
The education of the schools must supply an element that was not so much needed during the early years of our national existence, for the primitive farm life then furnished a training that is lacking in our present mode of living. A large part of our population has exchanged outdoor life of muscular effort for indoor and sedentary work of the brain. This is having its necessary effects upon our health and vigor. “Health comes in through the muscles, but flies out through the nerves.” Increase of wealth has diminished the necessity of and the inclination to manual labor. Yet the boy and girl of to-day must be educated to meet a nervous and physical strain entirely unknown to our ancestors. They suffer for the training which quickened the senses, which gave true eyes, steady nerves and hands, as well as strong muscles, and which also developed that sense of responsibility, self-respect, and independence which is the outcome of work recognized by children as useful.
A new responsibility is thrust upon the school. It must compensate for the loss of the farm training or both individual and state will suffer. It must meet the issue by physical and manual training, for it can no longer content itself with giving only a “ bookish and wordy education.”
I once attended a large gathering of school superintendents when the interesting question came up as to how many were born in the country and had had the opportunity in their boyhood to attend to the various duties connected with farm life. It was found that a surprisingly small per cent of these men were born in the cities. Statistics could easily be obtained, I think, to prove that most educational leaders as well as leaders in large business enterprises are men whose early training has been gained largely through healthy, physical work rather than by cramming book knowledge at the school bench for the sake of: passing an examination or getting a degree.
The high school curriculum is overcrowded with studies that demand so much mental and nervous energy from the students that many of them become total physical and nervous wrecks. Several times during the past year, I have been visited by parents having girls in the high school asking if I would take their daughters into the wood-working classes because the physician advised physical work.
We know that the proper development of a child is like that of a plant-slow and orderly. If we are hurrying this orderly growth we are producing poor results. Herein lies the great danger in technical education; processes are often hurried in order to get a speedy and showy result. The goal to be reached is purely material gain rather than the thorough development of the child's faculties. Labor saving contrivances and machinery are introduced rather for the sake of production than to utilize the student's physical and mental powers.
The typical manual training schools of America as they are organized at present may be very valuable, but they do not fulfil the need of the people either educationally or industrially. Why? Because only a small percentage of the children of
high school age come under their influence. If we maintain the idea that manual training of some kind, at the most favorable period of child life is an absolute essential for a complete development of our children, then it is evident that every child should be given an opportunity.
Allow me, right here, to make a practical suggestion. Let, the present manual training high schools be converted into vocational schools for children over seventeen years of age, and establish a manual training laboratory in every high school building as an organic part of the school curriculum.
It is interesting to read the several reports from manual training schools giving statistics as to the various kinds of work the graduates enter upon and what important business enterprises they represent. Presumably these reports represent the direct influence of the manual training schools, but we must admit that other schools and influences may have added something to the strength and power of the individual.
The kindergarten, for example, may have as much right to feel that it has laid the foundation for the future railroad president and the successful business man as the technical schools and colleges. Consequently no one knows what school or what training has had the greater influence for best citizenship.
Much has been said about the influence of well-lighted and well-ventilated schoolrooms; about having them attractive and orderly. Still we all agree that the influence of tactful and sympathetic teachers in all branches of training is by far one of the greatest educational influences,—teachers whose chief interests and thoughts center about the welfare of the pupil; who, like the Great Teacher, please not themselves but do all in their power to help in uplifting humanity
It has been said that we Americans have progressed faster in wealth than in wisdom. In spite of the speed and competition in industrial supremacy which is also apt to enter into educational business, we must still believe that the greatest hope for our prosperity as a nation, as well as for that of other countries, is to take proper care of the growing generation and give them the best schools, with the best and most sympathetic teachers the country can produce.
Aspects of the Professional Work in State
HE following study was undertaken to ascertain
what is constituting the professional training of T. teachers as this training is given in the state
normal schools of the United States. The data
the following states and territories :-
2 North Carolina,
. 1 North Dakota
. 3 Oregon . .
. 1 Pennsylvania . Iowa . .
i Rhode Island Kansas .
• 2 South Carolina. Louisiana
. South Dakota Maine .
. 2 Tennessee. Massachusetts .
• 7 Texas . . . Michigan . .
• 4 Virginia .
New Hampshire. . Complete data could not be obtained from every catalogue. The number of schools from which data concerning the different subjects were obtained is indicated in the first column on the right hand side of the table. It varies from thirty-five in " methods and reviews” to sixty-eight in “psychology."
The most conspicuous feature of the table is the great variation in the time given to each subject. Almost nothing approximating a standard amount seems to have evolved for any one of the subjects. Psychology varies from eight to sixty weeks, with an average of 22.5 and a median of 20.7, and the