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The Industrial Society of Mülhausen is perhaps the most powerful voluntary association in existence for the advancement of practical elucation. "Organized in 1832 by the manufacturers of Alsace, it has ever since been a most beneficial agency for the promotion of the common interests of this community, where it originated.
The only branch of the society's work of which notice may be appropriately taken here is the Continuation School for Artisans, opened in 1883.
The annual report of this school for the year 1890–91 announces the object of this institution to be, "to give young artisans an opportunity to improve and extend their school education," a statement which again illustrates by a fresli example the fact that there is very little of trade teaching, manual training, or technical education, as we understand such terms, in European "industrial schools.” Most of these schools are like the evening classes in American cities, designed merely to make up, in part, for the lack of early elementary elucation on the part of boys and girls who, by stress of circumstances, are forced prematurely to engage in some handicraft for self-support.
The instruction in this school embraces German, French, arithmetic, and drawing and building construction for carpenters, masons, etc. There were 140 pupils in attendance at the opening of the school October 13, 1890. March 14, when the term closed, 93 pupils were present.
PRESENT STATUS OF INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION IN GREAT BRITAIN.
BEGINNING OF THE MOVEMENT,
Commencing about the year 1882, what has been termed a technical education scare swept over England, owing to the fear that Germany was competing with increasing success for the foreign trade of the world. This advantage was believed to be due to her system of technical instruction. As a result of this apprehension concerning trade a great deal of attention was given to the subject during succeeding years. A royal commission was appointed by parliament to inquire into the various teclinical and trade schools on the continent with a special view of reporting upon the effect the instruction given in these schools had upon the industries of the various countries in which they were situated.
While entertaining serious doubts as to the apprenticeship schools the commission, nevertheless, strongly favored the introduction of technical instruction into the elementary schools, and also the formation, in all industrial centres, of classes for affording instruction to artisans in the evening. Other recommendations were made with reference to scholarships, agricultural schools, etc.
Preceding the above reports, very little in the direction indicated in the reports was in progress throughout the country. In London Fins bury College was the only centre, apart from the Polytechnic Young Men's Christian Institute, that gave evening manual instruction, and even at Finsbury the number of real artisans in attendance was very small. In 1882, when the Polytechnic was opened, and the avowed aim of Mr. Quintin Hogg and his committee was to provide as far as possible for the educational requirements of the artisan classes, the whole movement received an impetus which, upon presentation of the commissioners' report, was still further advanced.
Slowly but yet surely the movement spread throughout the country, and today is given effect to in various ways by many institutions throughout the provinces. An additional impulse has recently been given to the movement by the passage of the technical instruction acts of 1889 and 1890. During the past year an especially large number of schools have been opened.