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With the year 1877 the Swedish sloid instruction reached a new stage of progress, when the diet, at the suggestion of the government, determined to appropriate an annual subvention of 75 crowns ($20.10) out of the state treasury for the benefit of every common school in which sloid instruction for boys should be introduced.
After giving due credit to Minister F. F. Carlsson for the successful accomplishment of this work Director Salomon continued:
It was estimated that this allowance of 75 crowns ($20.10) would be paid to 200 schools; but it is evident that this estimate was much too low, since there are now more than 1,000 schools which are entitled to the award. With the exception of the common schools in Gothenburg sloid instruction is everywhere elective.
In Gothenburg sloid is reserved for pupils of the fourth school year in the common schools. About 2,000 boys have taken this course. The sloid teaching is given to 20 different divisions, each of which includes 18 to 19 pupils. There are 13 carpentry divisions, 5 divisions for iron work, and i each for pasteboard work and painting. Each pupil receives 7 hours' instruction in sloid per week. This is given by master workmen.
In 1887 the city appropriated 22,200 crowns ($5,949.60) for this in. struction, to which the state added the sum of 3,750 crowns ($1,005). As long ago as the year 1875 sloid was introduced as an elective spe. cialty into the common school teachers' seminary at Carlstad, and in the fall of this year (1883) it is proposed to bring it into the common school teachers' seminaries at Lund and at Hernösand.
From the common schools, as a point of departure, the sloid instruction has extended little by little to other educational establishments; and so, within recent years, the opportunity has been given to the pupils of many of the higher institutions of learning (both gymnasia and private schools) to receive sloid instruction at stated hours every week.
Large numbers of teachers' associations have declared themselves in. favor of this idea. At the (twelfth) general council of teachers at Gothenburg in 1887 the question for discussion was, “ Should sloid instruction be introduced into teachers' seminaries generally; and, if so, in what way and under what form 9" On motion of Principal Carlsson, son of the former minister, F. F. Carlsson, the following resolution was adopted:
“ In consequence of the experience accumulating on many sides the teachers' council holds it to be indisputable that further experiments should be made in introducing sloid instruction into the general teachers' seminaries. The sloid teaching should form an elective specialty, and, at first, wood sloid only should be taught (cabinetmaking and a little turning)."
It deserves mention, as of special significance, that in recent years sloid has also been introduced not only into the bigher schools for boys, but into a number of girls' sehools and mixed schools.
From a hygienic point of view sloid instruction for girls has been advocated. The so-called people's high schools (the seminaries for the country population) have begun to introduce the sloid; and in the universities at Upsal and Lund sloid rooms are fitted up for the use of students.
The education of the teachers is provided for, partly through courses held in the several provinces, partly through means of the sloid seminary at Nääs, where every year great numbers of male and female teachers receive free instruction. Those male and female teachers who are installed over the common schools receive a subsidy from the provincial treasuries, and can travel on the state railroads to and from the seminary at reduced fares.
As regards the principles of sloid instruction in the Swedish schools a distinction is commonly made between pedagogic and practical school sloid. This last is now practised in a few schools only—as in the Practical Work School at Stockholm, the Institute of Reformation at Hall, and in certain common schools in the provinces of Stockholm and Carlscrona. The object of sloid teaching here is to enable the children to acquire dexterity and skill in making certain specified objects. This plan, therefore, places the school in servitude to sloid instruction; whereas at Nääs, and elsewhere in Sweden, for the most part, pedagogic sloid instruction provides, first of all, a means of development for the children, and thereby serves primarily for their education. Not skilled labor, but the exercise itself is here the chief object. Since, therefore, sloid instruction is here placed in the service of education, this instruction must be made available for the pedagogic education of the teachers who are in a position to prevent what is designed to be merely a means from being confounded with the end.
Formerly artisans' sloid instruction prospered fairly well in the common schools; but of late years this form of instruction has become less popular, so that in Gothenburg, where this practical school sloid” has had its strongest fortress, they are earnestly endeavoring, as I have already pointed out, to direct it in a purely pedagogical course.
From all these indications it is apparent, therefore, that sloid instruction in Sweden is having a successful development, both quantitative and qualitative, and corporeal labor will be annually introduced into hundreds of schools. The interest in this instruction reaches to everwidening circles. For the advantage of a wise and generous education, adapted to the times in which we live, may it continue to extend.
At the close of the year 1890, there were in Sweden 1,392 schools into which manual training had been introduced. These schools received state aid to the amount of 103,067.78 crowns ($27,622,17). Besides, the state appropriates 20,000 crowns ($5,360) annually to support this instruction in various districts. From other sources these schools derive a revenue of 200,000 crowns ($53,600) a year.
To the above number must be added about 200 institutions which, within the year 1891, adopted manual training-state schools, private schools, several sloid schools, and public schools.
MANUAL TRAINING IN DENMARK.
In Denmark there existed for many years prior to 1883 a form of educational hand labor styled “home industry,” of which the Danish teacher, Clauson-Kaas, was a prominent advocate and champion.
Owing to differences of opinion between this remarkable man and the secretary of the Central Association of Home Industry (concerning the utility of manual training as a means of intellectual discipline) the partisans of each polemic fell into a violent conflict, and as a result the movement came to a stand and even showed unmistakable signs of retrogression. At this juncture Prof. Mikkelsen, whose system of teaching is regarded by Herr Schenckendorff with great admi. ration, and in respect to thoroughness the nearest to perfection of any, exerted bis influence as a pacificator.
Prof. Mikkelsen, now director of the sloid school at Copenhagen, as a delegate from Denmark, made an address before the eighth German manual training congress upon the progress of Danish sloid, in the course of which he referred only by indirect allusion to the unprofitable controversies that had been waged between the rival factions. He merely said:
It will be needless for me, in this presence, to go into the early history of the work school movement, as it was conducted in former years by Clauson-Kaas, and so zealously and energetically promoted by him and his friends. This history is so well known in Germany that I can add nothing new concerning it. I remark only that the present aims of our sloid teaching follow other lines than those which the home industry experiment of Clauson-Kaas had in view.
As this address contains a succinct account of sloid instruction as pursued in Denmark its salient points are here reproduced:
In reviewing this new order of things in Denmark I must, in a rude fashion, begin with my own undertaking. Yet this shall not deter me from giving you a wholly objective picture of the development and condition of sloid instruction, as well as of the system pursued by me. I shall endeavor, however, to exclude from my report everything of a polemical nature.
After I had labored for the cause, with voice and pen, for a series of years, in 1883 I established the first genuine sloid school in Denmark at Nestved, where I was then the principal of a technical school. In the year 1885 I went to Copenhagen, founded there, at my own expense, a sloid school, and began to work for the promotion of sloid by means of strenuous agitation, not only in Copenhagen, but everywhere throughout the country.
At the beginning of the school year 1885 Herren Slomann and Winkel-Horn, who had founded a new Latin and real-school, prepared to incorporate sloid as an obligatory study in the plan of instruction in their school. In this school, as everywhere else in Denmark at present (with the exception of two schools), the system of teaching devised by me is adopted. Wherein this system consists I will explain further on.
In the spring of 1886 the Danish Sloid Society was founded at my suggestion, whose aim is to secure the introduction of pedagogical sloid into both the higher and lower schools of the country. The state immediately placed 6,000 crowns ($1,608) at our disposal for the benefit of the society, and at the same time I began to give instruction to teachers.
Soon after this I bought a large, convenient, and well located building, in which I fitted up a sloid school for teachers. Here, in August 1886, was established the first vacation course for teachers, which was attended by 24 male teachers and some female teachers. The attendants on this course were from Copenhagen and other parts of the country,
At the beginning of the school year 1886 sloid was introduced in an experimental way in the Latin school at Fredericksborg. At the saine time sloid was taken up in six private Latin aud realschools in Copenhagen, from whence, in the course of the school year, it found admission to three more institutions. The cause of sloid steadily won new friends, and in educational circles people began to make experiments and think earnestly concerning the matter.
In July and August 1887 was held the second teachers' course in my sloid teachers' school, and this was attended by 41 male and female tea ebers.
The extension of sloid instruction has gone steadily forward until now; aud, up to the present time, sloid has been introduced into 11 Latin schools, 13 real-schools, 4 people's high schools, 1 village school, 3 children's homes, and 2 asylums. Many more yet will introduce it during the current year. Finally, there are besides 4 independent sloid schools in Denmark. Some classes also in the common school will be experimentally taught sloid exercises.
At first sloid was taught only to the older boys, afterwards to boys from 10 to 11 years of age. Later it came to be more and more the practice to begin instruction in wood sloid with boys in their seventh year. Originally, participation in sloid instruction was almost everywhere optional; now it is almost everywhere obligatory, and the people are well satisfied to have it so. In the people's high school alone (in consequence of the nature of this school) does it remain elective.
At the teachers' courses (of which four of six weeks' duration will be annually held at my sloid teachers' school) instruction will be given in wood sloid in connection with drawing. Then a series of lectures will be conducted here. These pertain in part to pedagogical and physiological subjects, and, in part, to working tools and the kuowledge of materials. This summer two teachers' courses have been held—from the beginning of June to the middle of July and from that time till the end of August.
The state supports this movement for the education of the teachers; and, during the past fiscal year, the state has contributed, through the Danish Sloid Society, 11,400 crowns ($3,859,20) for the furtherance of the callse. The education of the teachers continues through three or four consecutive six weeks' courses, or a single course of six months' duration.
It is gradually becoming clear to us that if sloid is to exert the influence we wish it must rest on the same basis as the other specialties of the school.
The price of tuition is not uniform, but ranges from 24 to 5 crowns (67 cents to $1.31) per year. Children are allowed to keep as their own the articles they make. The hours of instruction vary from one to four per week,
Teachers and school directors are everywhere well disposed toward the cause. Only exceptionally here and there does one meet an avowed opponent. But all have reached the conviction that we have in sloid a valuable means of education. But the higher and lower schools here are not equally devoted to the cause. While the first are substantially unanimous in favoring the introduction of sloid, there is much hesitation on the part of the lower schools to adopt it. This will disappear with time. Public opinion is unequivocally friendy to sloid.
Artisans hesitated at first, but they already begin to regard the matter with approval. Physicians are its most zealous advocates. They look upon sloid as a means by which the evil effect of the sedentary habits incidental to the ordinary school may be successfully counteracted. It is hoped, also, that we have therein a means for preventing the development of evil impulses.
In general the communal authorities do not yet understand the great significance of sloid. Only three communes have voted subsidies for the introduction of sloid, and a fourth (Copenhagen) determineil, two years ago, that one of the classes might receive sloid instruction in my school for two hours per week, during school hours.
Following out the suggestion and wish of Herr Schenckendorff, who visited me at Copenhagen this year, I proceed now to set forth the distinctive features of my system. I am far from affirming that this system is of unique excellence; but I may say that, in the leading intellectual circles of Denmark, it is acknowledged to be correct in theory as well as in practice.
The word sloid is of ancient northern origin, and in Denmark it has come to signify manual labor in the service of education.
The reasons which led to the formation of the Danish sloid system may be stated as follows:
If manual labor is to subserve the interests of education and of the school by the means of sloid, the system should have reference to the development of the child's mental powers in those directions that are not provided for by the system of theoretical instruction. It is believed that through practical labor the special capacities of the child, especially the faculties of observation and taste, may be unfolded in a wholly different manner from that which is possible by theoretical instruction alone.
The many different objects which the child takes in hand and brings before the eye-which it must work with, and which it must make according to specified models and drawings-lead very systematically to the education of the faculties of observation and comparison, and compel the thoughtful attention of the pupil. The child is restricted to the making of a particular object, or of its single parts when it would not otherwise be able to construct anything worth mentioning; aceordingly, it learns thereby to concentrate its thoughts upon one specific object of some kind.
As a result of the work the finished object, with its faults and imperfections, leads the child to the correction of his exercises, and so teaches him the elements of criticism of manual labor. Whoever has concerned himself much with sloid must have noticed what patient trials are requisite (so foreign to a child's nature) to overcome all the difficulties that pertain to the handling of materials and the different working tools.
The speaker, in summing up the advantages of sloid as an educational agency, declared his convictions as follows:
Therefore, since it exercises the faculty of observation, promotes clearness of conception, sharpens the perception of cause and effect, develops the sense of form and of beauty, concentrates the attention, cultivates patience, and, withal, creates a love and enthusiasm for labor, it is, in reality, the entire intellectual strength of the child which is called into requisition by sloid.
In Denmark this pedagogical object of sloid occupies an advanced position; and from this point our system must carry it forward.