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In seems desirable, in introducing this subject to consider, for a moment, the occasion for any public schools. Why does the state provide for popular education? Not certainly as an act of charity; for while the state properly exercises charity toward the unfortunate, it wisely refrains from wholesale benefaction, and aims always to encourage individual independence rather than general dependence. Primarily, we may say that the public educates that it may thereby enhance the safety of life and property. “There is no security for either life or property in a community devoid of education and consequent intelligence. Intelligence confers upon each a sacred character.

Secondly, we have grown to consider that the state is in duty bound to give to every child a small working capital in the way of an education, with which to start in active life-to set him up in business, as it were, with a small stock of intellectual goods, that he may thereby live a happier life and be of more value to the world. This secondary object of our schools may be more briefly stated as the generation of power in the individual for the especial benefit of society. The direct personal good received by the individual is purely accidental and incidental. Parenthetically, I wish to remark, that the duty of the state in education is confined strictly to such needs for intelligent citizenship as cannot be obtained by the average child except by public provision. For the state to go further than this is to do that which followed out to its logical results, would lead to that paternal type of government which has ever been the demagogue's promise, and the people's ruin.

Again the state should, as a matter of policy, undertake to furnish instruction in any useful trade or profession, so far as the needs of society will not be adequately met by agencies of a private character.

It follows, that the question of prime importance is, what is the best system of education? What system will most surely stimulate the exercise of those qualities of the child's nature which will lead him to respect the rights of others? What system will best prepare him to earn an honest living and bless the world by his life's work?

It would be interesting and most instructive, in this connection, could we study the history of civilization from the beginning and note the influence of the different systems of education which have prevailed in the great nations of antiquity, and learn wherein their strength and their weakness consisted. We should learn from such a study, that much of both the growth and the decay of nations was attributable to the systems of education which were dictated by the leading minds of each succeeding type of civilization. “The history of all ancient civilization,” says Mr. Ham, "shows that a false system of education, a system which exalts abstract ideas and degrades things, promotes sulfishness; that selfishness is the equivalent of savagery, and that savagery, however refined, wrecks society."

The development of broad intelligence, ambition to be somebody and ability to do something, being the object aimed at, let us inquire, is our present system of education giving us what we have a right to demand of a system supported by the public? The education which is given by the public and for the public should be the best possible. That this is not the case is seen in the fact that: First, It does not produce broad intelligence. The best results that can be claimed for the average common school course of study are, a very limited ability to use good English, fair penmanship, a little facility in performing arithmetical calculations and the acquisition of a large number of facts on various subjects. Original thought is discouraged, if not entirely


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repressed, independent investigation is not allowed, the relation of facts learned in school to other known facts is not brought out, and the ability to reproduce thoughts of others in a manner valuable to the world is entirely neglected. The memory is cultivated and the reason allowed to slumber. In a statement of “ The Theory of Education in the United States of America,” prepared with great care, and approved by nearly all the leading educators of the country, for distribution at the Centennial Exposition, we find this given as the conclusion of the whole subject: “The common school aims to give the pupils the great arts of receiving and communicating intelligence.” This is certainly sad testimony as to the narrow views of accepted leaders in educational thought on the proper sphere of effort, and the culture to be aimed at in the people's college.'

Seconi, It is unscientific. Herbert Spencer says on this point: “ Intellectual progress is of necessity from the concrete to the abstract. But regardless of this, highly abstract subjects such as grammar, which should come quite late, are begun quite early. Political geography, dead and unin. teresting to a child, and which should be an appendage of sociological studies, is commenced betimes, while physical geography, comprehensible and comparatively attractive to a child, is in great part passed over. Nearly every subject dealt with is arranged in abnormal order-definitions and rules and principles being put first, instead of being disclosed, -as they are in the order of nature, through the study of cases, and then, pervading the whole, is the vicious system of rote learning-a system of sacrificing the spirit to the letter."

Third, It is impractical. The boy in our schools of to-day is taught many theories but is not required to put any of them into practice; hence he enters upon the serious duties of life unprepared to discharge any of them. He has been taught very little in school which has any direct bearing upon any trade or profession he may undertake. Here Spencer again says:

" That which our school courses have almost entirely left out, we find to be that which most nearly concerns the business of life. All our industries would cease were it not for that information which men begin to acquire, as best they may, after their education is said to be finished.”

Fourth, It creates fallacious standards of merit. The “best scholar,” according to the generally accepted standard, the one held up as the ne plus ultra of the school, is ever the one who most successfully represses the exuberance of youthful spirit, and the most readily learns and recites his lessons. Original investigation and inventive skill are merits which have no place for recognition in the schools of to-day.

Fifth, It is unjust in that it discriminates in favor of those who are seeking to prepare for work where intellectual attainments alone are required. Little as it does for these, it does practically nothing for the pupil who expects to earn a living by manual labor. The briefest consideration of the necessities for comfort and happiness in any civilized community, suffices to show that we are vastly more dependent upon the skillful hand-workers than upon the skillful brain-workers, for those things which make life worth living. The state does injustice to itself, therefore, in givirg a helpful hand only to those who are destined to become the least useful members of society. While decrying the modern methods by which it is sought to enforce the aristocracy of skilled labor, I sympathize strongly with the idea that mere intellectual culture has arrogated to itself a superiority far beyond its merits.

Sixth, it repels rather than attracts. By their unscientific and impractical methods our schools fail to interest children and give them a thirst for more knowledge. They cannot appreciate the value of what they are taught, and are prone to leave the halls of learning, that they may find elsewhere that training which nature craves.

With such an array of weak points in existing systems of education we should be eager to find adequate remedies and prompt to adopt such as promise relief. Happily for us these faults have been recognized by some of our greatest minds and remedies suggested which, if put into practice, can but result in great gain to the individual pupils of our schools and hence to society at large. The principal remedy, which has already been suggested, is the introduction of manual training into our public schools. It may perhaps be thought that I have ignored the fact that something has already been done in this direction by the kindergarten, drawing, and the laboratory methods of teaching the sciences. While we desire to give all due credit to the good work accomplished by each of these innovations, it yet remains true that the kindergarten but reaches up to the point where the ordinary common school work begins; the laboratory methods scarcely reach down so as to have any influence on the grades below the high school; and the drawing, which has found a place in our courses of study, has been of but little value as an element of industrial education. It is also true that neither the kindergarten, drawing or the laboratory, have been so generally introduced as to be fairly considered as having a place worthy of mention in the average school to-day.

In presenting the claims of manual training for a place in our common schools, we will follow the same order that we have taken in speaking of the weak points of our present system. First, and especially, we claim that it will give to our pupils a broader culture. To prove this, it would seem hardly necessary to do more than to call attention to the recognized merits of the kindergarten and the laboratory methods in awakening thought, inciting investigation and necessitating care and patience, and noting that the manual training department will in a like manner give to those who come under its influence, clearer ideas of the meaning of words, a better knowledge of the nature of everything which they see, and touch, and taste, and smell, and a broader conception of their duties and responsibilities in their relations to the family, the community and the state.

Manual training may properly be considered as one modification of the laboratory method. In it the child deals with the facts of nature. By it he is taught concerning the properties of matter and the manifestations of force through the medium of his senses. This develops mental power, and as Mr. Seaver, Superintendent of the Boston schools, says, “Makes the pupil the possessor of the real merchandise of knowledge rather than its empty packing cases. Our education heretofore has been partial and one-sided-merely an education in language-overlooking the fact that words are but the symbols of realities.

Second, Manual training is most emphatically scientific. The principle upon which Comenius most insisted, and which forms the special point of his teaching, is that the teaching of words and things must go hand in hand; and Herbert Spencer says, “We shall attain the best results by closely studying the development of the mind and availing ourselves of the whole amount of force which nature puts at our disposal. No extent of acquaintances with the meanings of words can give the power of forming correct inferences respecting causes and effects. The constant habit of drawing conclusions from data, and then verifying those conclusions by observation and experiment, can alone give the power of judging correctly." Comenius, Rousseau, Pestalozzi, Froebel, Tyndall and Spencer, are a unit in asserting that scientific education must embrace the education of the hand and the brain, and that the work of our schools should be so planned as to make each mutually helpful to the other. This we have acknowledged by adopting the kindergarten and the laboratory methods, and only need, as a proof of the sincerity of our belief, to adopt the same principle in connection with our common school grades.

Third, Manual education is practical. I am aware that this word practi. cal has a very unpleasant sound to many school men, and is even thought unworthy a place in the vocabulary of an educator. It is nevertheless true that this is a practical age, and the education which fits the youth of to-day for the actual duties of life must recognize this fact.

In laying out a course of study which should be best suited to the wants of any particular child, we would study the tastes and capacities of that child. So in planning for all the children of a community we should consider what scheme most nearly meets the wants of the great majority. If we do this, we can but decide that a knowledge of things, skill in hand-labor, and that respect for labor and the laborer, which are inevitably engendered by this knowledge, will be of vastly more practical value to the average boy or girl than any mere accumulation of facts and ability to use words. If we do this we shall recognize, the close relation between a high type of manual training and the great interests of material prosperity—just as we recognize the need of the cultivation of the mental powers and make provision for it. In this age of machinery, with the rapidly multiplying means of using steam and electricity, and the growing demands of a highly cultivated people in all matters pertaining to artistic taste, there is always a dearth of skilled mechanics. Couple with this the fact that with the introduction of laborsaving machinery the apprentice system has become almost obsolete, and we are forced to the conclusion that unless we can through our schools encourage a taste for handcraft of a high order, our skilled industries must gradually become extinct, or we must continue to import the great majority of our skilled mechanics from Europe. Already probably three-fourths of our skilled workmen are of foreign training. The relegating of work requiring the skillful hand to foreigners, with no social standing in our country, has had a tendency to degrade all manual labor. Our best artisans and our worst politicians are refugees from foreign lands. Mr. Smiles has shown that England owes to the French and Flemish immigrants almost all her industrial arts. Francis Galton, commenting on this fact, says, “ There has been another emigration from France to England of not unequal magnitude, but followed by very different results, namely, that of the revolution of 1789.” Shall we aspire to repeat this history in our country; or rather, while we are proving our ability to rear almost as bad politicians as the old world can send us, shall we not endeavor to prove also our ability to produce as good artisans?

“The stony and sterile lands of New England,” says the Englishman' Mather in his late report to the British parliament, “require intense activity,

industry and skill on the part of the farmer, to make a living. As hired labor is very dear, he depends on his own houshold for help. Every kind of work has to be done at home. Blacksmith's, wheelwright's, machinist's, carpenter's, and hydraulic work become as familiar to the farmer, in a rough and ready way, as plowing, tilling, sowing and reaping. All handicrafts in a greater or less degree are acquired. The farmer's boy is thus provided with an industrial training of the best kind in and around his home. His wits are sharpened, his perceptions developed. There is a large field for the immediate

. application of knowledge acquired at school, on the one hand; on the other, the school exercises and lessons are more readily understood by a boy or girl having in daily life to deal directly with natural forces and laws. These district schools holding only twenty weeks in the year, associated as they are with agricultural and mechanical occupations, produce better results, as a whole, among the artisan classes than the city schools, the attendance at which is for the entire school-year of forty weeks. My attention has been drawn to this fact by many employers and educationists, and it has been confirmed by my own observations. It suggests the importance of introducing into the elementary public schools of cities some industrial training. Our brightest boys come from the country,' is a phrase which has become very familiar to me in America."

That the introduction of manual training into our schools would accomplish much toward doing away with the fallacious standards of merit, and the unjust discriminations which now prevail, needs but to be mentioned to be recognized as true. When we wish to determine the valuable qualities of different varieties of wood we apply various tests, and learn from our investigation that one is strong, another is easily worked into any desired shape, a third will take a high degree of polish and a fourth will give a large amount of heat. Every variety has its valuable properties. In a like manner if we apply a large number of tests to the different varieties of boy we shall surely find that every one is good for something. By increasing the number of tests which we apply to our boys we shall not only be more likely to do justice to each individual by discovering that each has some talent worth cultivating, but what is of vastly greater value to the world we shall reveal the same fact to the boy himself.

In presenting the advantages to be derived from our adding manual training to present course of study, I have endeavored to answer some of the objections which are raised to the plan. There are perhaps two others which should be noticed. First, It is claimed that other important branches would be neglected. The unanimous testimony of all who have experimented in this direction, that pupils do more and better work in the ordinary studies of the school on account of the addition of manual training is sufficient answer to the claim.

Again it is feared by some that, as boys generally like to be making something, any stimulus which encourages this propensity will divert many from pursuing literary or scientific studies for which they have a natural fitness. But it does not follow that because a boy learns something of the use of tools he must of necessity become a mechanic, as it does not follow that the boy who learns something of chemistry or Greek must of necessity follow only such pursuits as will call into immediate and active use the knowledge of these branches. It does follow simply that the mechanical laboratory would be used to teach the subject as a part of a general education and would inci


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