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dentally be of great value directly to those who might wish to become skilled artisans. When a boy leaves a school in which manual training is taught, he will as now have his life work determined by his taste and the opportunities which offer. If indeed the influence of the introduction of manual training into our schools should be to induce a larger number of boys to become mechanics than heretofore, the result would be to the great advantage of the individuals so choosing and the community at large. The influence of any study which cultivates care, close observation and patient investigation is valuable; and no branch now found in our common schools, is at all comensurate in its capacity for accomplishing this result with manual training. Let us note also that while this is held necessary to the broadest culture, and is the scientifically correct method of education, it is also strongly and enthusiastically urged as the great need of our schools by that large class of practical self-made men, who, having achieved success themselves, should be considered wise counselors as to the best plan for helping others to success.
Whenever any innovation upon established customs is proposed, wise men naturally and properly question as to the feasibility of the scheme. While a majority of the educators are probably ready to acknowledge that advantages would result from the introduction of manual training into our public schools, still very many think it altogether impracticable. The hyper-conservative ones, who always see insuperable objections to every new plan proposed, think they perceive in this, such a derangement of present courses of study, such a crowding of pupils with work, and such increased cost of our schools as should brand it as unworthy our consideration. While we frankly admit, that up to this time, work in this direction has been largely experimental, still the experiments have been sufficiently numerous and varied to warrant us in drawing definite conclusions as to the feasibility of the scheme. Replies to inquiries recently made, show a practical unanimity on the part of those who have had experience with manual training in public schools, in claiming :
1. Manual training is feasible in city schools, to just what extent is not yet fully determined.
2. It is not feasible to any great extent in country schools, and for reasons already hinted at, is not needed there as it is in the city.
3. It is popular with pupils and parents.
9. The only objections raised against it are its cost, and that instigated by the prejudice which always exists in the minds of the very conservative against any innovation without regard to its merits. This last is unworthy any consideration. The first-its cost—which applies equally to all the work of our higher grades, is valid only where it can be shown that the results can in no sense be considered commensurate with the expense.
It will perhaps be expected that after having made so great claims for manual training we will be prepared to present a formula for applying it to our present courses of study.
This can, however, be done only in a general way. There are very many conditions which should have weight in determining the character and amount of work to be attempted in each particular school. The size of the town, the number of school buildings, the convenience with which pupils may be gathered at one or more central points, the rooms which may be converted to this special use, and the availibility of suitable instructors, are all points which must be considered.
To the extent that circumstances will permit, the following would seem to me a desirable scheme:
1. Kindergarten methods during the first three grades.
2. Industrial drawing in all grades above the second and below the high school.
3. The use of carpenter's tools in the fifth and sixth grades. 4. Forging for boys, and sewing for girls, in the seventh and eighth grades.
5. All work specially designated for the grammar grades should be made optional until such time as there was a general demand for it.
Whatever is attempted should be begun in a modest way, leaving popular demand to determine the extent to which it shall be carried.
SUPT. C. N. KENDALL, Jackson, said : Schools are leaving undone things they ought to do. Our schools must progress to meet the demands. A few years ago, drawing and music were called for, and the schools adapted themselves to the demands. Education aims to train to thinking; train the observing powers, the judgment, and aim to pui a well-rounded mind in a sound body. Now these mental gymnastics may come from books. I don't believe that manual training can be introduced for its purely practical value, but for its educational training. Brain should be trained through all the senses. Teach pupils to think by things in which they are interested. Train the mind through the hand, as well as through the eye. One of the best definitions of education, I think, is, " The formation of right habits." We should not take boys away from mechanical pursuits by our education. Manual training has a good infiuence on morals, because it keeps pupils busy. I believe that the cost of the system has been over-estimated. The cost in Toledo for fitting up a room for 80 boys was $796. The cost of a cooking-school in Boston for 35 girls was $35. It has been found to be a success in many small towns in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The superintendent of the Toledo schools said that the 50 boys who take manual training stand as high as do others. The whole line of school work is toned up by manual training.
SUPT. HOWELL, Lansing: There's a wrong impression as to cost of equipment, coming from the great and endowed schools of manual training in Worcester, Toledo, Chicago, and St. Louis. I have visited several Eastern schools especially to ascertain the cost. I have found that it can be introduced at slight expense ; 200 boys in Boston school, drawn from ten schools, work two hours per week. They are from sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. They are taught for one year the use of carpenters' tools. Expense of plant, tools, benches, etc., did not reach $600. We can fit a room for 100 boys in Lansing for $250. Cost of material in Boston school per year per pupil was not more than $1.50, and they used Michigan pine at $60 per M.
Boys of the manual school were fully up in other studies. The pupils came from lower walks of life, and middle class, and from the better classes. The work showed the different classes. The work aided in the discipline of the school. The pupils of higher class liked it best. The pupils remained in school longer than they otherwise would. Supt. Howell closed by reading the following extract from the Toledo Blade of Dec. 28 :
In the matter of manual training the Board of Education cannot be charged with making undue haste. It is considered purely as an experiment, and if it turns out badly it will be dropped. The Tribune believes that such training is of great importance, but that it should be gained in special schools. - New York Tribune.
Toledo has had this system in practical operation for two or three years, and it works admirably. No person here regards it as an experiment, except as to the extent of that kind of training. A certain amount is unquestionably most important. It takes the place of, and is an improvement upon, the gymnasium. Toledo could not be induced to abandon her manual training school. It fits pupils for usefulness in new and desirable channels, just about doubles their capacity for taking care of themselves, and affords practical knowledge which is of incalculable value to all. It is no longer an experiment, any more than the common school system is an experiment. It may be a question as to the extent of instruction which either may afford.
THE TEACHER IN SOCIETY.
BY SUPERINTENDENT J. N. MCCALL, ITHACA.
The teacher's duties are manifold. To no class of men and women has been given a wider range of activity, more serious and far-reaching responsibilities. The higher the civilization, the freer the institutions, the more diverse the employments, the more conflicting are the interests and the more imperative are the demands upon the teacher. Despotism asks of its subjects implicit, blind obedience only; freedom calls for intelligence, judg. ment and moral power. As men have broken through the hereditary boundaries of caste and thrown off the shackles of superstitution and absolutism, the development of the mental and ethical has become a civic necessity. Based upon this necessity the functions of the state have gradually extended, systems of moral and intellectual progress have been devised, and the entire people have been required to contribute toward the diffusion of knowledge. To the teacher is committed the administration of this trust.
While it may be true that, with the influx of a foreign population, and the introduction of discordant elements into our civilization, there has been a tendency to expect too much of the teacher; yet, concerning one point, there is a practical unanimity of sentiment; the teacher is bound to give each pupil as thorough a preparation as possible for practical usefulness in society and the state.
This preparation will embrace two elements, culture and character. It may be true that there is no real culture without character, but this latter element cannot be too much emphasized. How are these ends to be attained? Various methods have been proposed. The pursuit of practical studies, the pursuit of disciplinary studies, long, deep draughts from the fountain of pure literature, familiarity with moral precepts, and vital religious instruction. Each of these methods has its office, but it is not our purpose here to discuss their places, relations or relative values. Our subject distinctly warns us off these fields of inquiry. It is with the teacher himself we wish to deal. Not his learning, character or genius distinctively, but his social nature as an element of each, as a silken thread running through the pearls of all his virtues. We would consider the teacher in his relations to the community in which he lives, his obligations, bearing, and opportunities. We have said that the teacher's true function is to give the pupil a generous culture and to build up a sound character; such a culture and such a character as Milton says, “fits a man to perform justly and magnanimously all the offices, both public and private, of peace and of war.” What we can do for our pupils never rises
above the level of our own attainments; hence our ability to train men and women for places in society, to produce well rounded characters will depend largely upon the cultivation of our own social natures. Man is by nature a social being. Society is just as essential to his full development as food, knowledge, or religion. He has no more right to ignore its demands than he has to ignore the demands of his body, his mind, or his soul. Strong characters are not formed in the dark. They are not the result of self-contemplation and solitude. The recluse is nearly always a visionary. Working as the teacher does with material drawn from every stratum of society, he, of all men, should be the most extensive in his acquaintance, the broadest in his sympathies. Pupils, parents, the entire community expects to find in the teacher a high degree of self-control, conversational ability, and practical knowledge. They have the right to expect these things. If the teacher is to give culture and character to his pupils, if his own personality is to be an important factor in this result, if he is responsible as well for the extent as for the kind of his influence, certainly the teacher must not be a social dead weight. A teacher without social ability, either native or acquired, is hard to imagine, but if such a being exists, he is a pedagogical humbug. He sours the sweetness of youth, makes school a prison, and disgraces the profession. No calling, no profession is more noble, more sacred than that of the teacher. The technical duties of the school-room call for the daily exercise of his best talent; but high and sacred as these duties are, those of manhood and womanhood, of citizenship take precedence. The community, the state demand the exercise of his social abilities, and the teacher has no right to refuse.
The teacher should have a study not for ornament but for use. But this study should not be a den. He should not hibernate. Patrons and teachers should not stand gazing at each other from opposite ends of the educational problem. Distance will not lend enchantment. They should unite their energies. Some one has said that we never know a man until we know his mother, and some irreverent wag has added, “yes, and his mother-in-law.” We never know a pupil until we have breathed his home atnosphere, and until we see what formative forces are there at work. How necessary, then, to our professional success is that social nature which leads us to familiar acquaintance with the parents and friends of the school.
To attempt to educate a child without a knowledge of his home is to attempt a demonstration on insufficient data. Hereditary tendencies, parental training, and social surroundings will in a large degree determine the taste and needs of the pupil and give bent to his genius. We are called upon now and, if I mistake not, we will be called upon yet more, to advise pupils as to their future career. “What studies would you recommend me to pursue?” “Would it pay me to attend college?” “For what business or profession do you think me best fitted?” These are questions frequently asked. Our answers are important. The consequences will be either gratifying or disastrous. On whatever principle educators may finally settle as to where courses of study should commence to diverge, wherever the school differentiation shall begin, one thing is sure, the teacher will always be asked to advise some of his pupils in relation to their future lives. It is therefore incumbent upon him to so acquaint himself with their home and its influences, to so familiarize himself with the demands of business and society, that he may make as few blunders as possible in this excedingly difficult part of his duty.