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that in most communities there are no schools, there is no school work which his honest conscience will permit him to advise as meeting the need. How long must this army of ambitious, capable boys and girls be allowed to go to the scrap heap of adult inefficiency, disappointment, and too often of pauperism and crime? How long must this army of tens of thousands ask for the bread of real, present-day life, of opportunity to prepare for gaining an adequate, respectable, and efficient living and citizenship, and be given the stones of academic gymnastics?
It is my faith that the vocational counselor, properly trained, will become the great force for bridging this gap between the vocational world and the schools. Timely, tactful, and, most of all, intelligent appeals to employers and school people (boards of education, superintendents, and teachers), revelation to them of facts, needs, and plans, should certainly be one of the most effective and far-reaching duties of the vocational counselor. To be sure, his immediate problem is partly an emergency problem-to do all that he possibly can to meet the specific needs of the individual candidates whom he is trying to aid. But if his work does not reach far enough into the vocational world, on the one hand, and into the schools on the other, to better conditions in both, to bring them closer together, and largely to remove the causes producing the emergency, then his efforts are just so much short of adequate success.
Can the vocational counselor achieve the success for which his position is established without professional training? In considering the problems of the counselor and the means and qualifications for meeting these problems, it seems to me that professional training is implied as essential at every point. His work is not a matter of a card-filing cabinet nor of the mere memory of facts. It is a work requiring trained judgment, intelligence trained to see the crucial point in a mass of complex data, a broad and intensive grasp of many complex social and psychological situations, and rigid training in the accurate interpretation of facts, conditions, and human qualities. Efficiency in these activities does not come by intuition alone nor by casual experience alone. Although every day's work of the counselor will be an asset in the work of the days following, training in every phase of the problem for which provision can be made will aid in eliminating waste from the beginning. It will save many a worker who would probably be wrecked on the rocks of misdirection. The problem comprehends the well-being of individuals, of vocations, of the school, and of society at large. For this significant work let us have men and women of the best possible professional training, that their efficiency may be in proportion to their responsibilities.
D.—THE PRESENT TREND OF VOCATIONAL GUIDANCE IN THE UNITED STATES.
HELEN T. WOOLLEY,
Director Child Labor Division, Cincinnati Public Schools, Cincinnati, Ohio.
The interest in vocational guidance in this country began with the problem of the misfits-those, chiefly adults, who had failed because they had gone into the wrong occupation. The work began, not in the schools, but in connection with social settlements; and the general attempt was to interview these people who had gone into the wrong occupations and to try to help them.
The general assumption which seemed to underlie these early efforts implied a sort of “niche" theory of vocational guidance. The idea was, apparently, that there were niches enough in society to go around; that the individuals were all right, but that they had been shuffled the wrong way, and some had fallen into the wrong niches. If one could simply find out where these mistakes had been made and reshuffle the people into the right niches, the problem would be solved.
It did not take long for both of those assumptions to break down. In the first place, it became evident that there are not enough of the right sort of niches in society. In the second place, it became evident that very many of these individuals who were coming for advice had failed not merely because they had been shuffled into the wrong niche, but very largely because they had been spoiled in the making. They were no longer fit for any respectable kind of a niche, and it was hopeless to try to fit them. It therefore came to be realized that there was a much more fundamental problem involved, and that this fundamental problem was really, in the first, how to avoid spoiling these individuals; and how, in the second place, to improve the quality of the niches awaiting them. In order to attack any such problem it was necessary to turn toward the public schools. In other words, the emphasis shifted in this field of vocational guidance very early, as it has shifted in nearly every field of social endeavor, from the curative point of view to the preventive point of view.
Accordingly, the leaders in the movement for vocational guidance turned toward the public schools, where are assembled a large mass of individuals in the making, and they said that to advise a child after he has left school what vocation he should follow is entirely too late. What we ought to do is to begin to advise him long enough before he leaves the school so that the school itself can do something to help him to fit himself for a proper vocation.
Then another point logically, if not chronologically, arises: There is little use in placing stress on advising the child as to the kind of work in life for which he ought to fit himself unless you can offer him
training for that work. So we get another shift on emphasis. from mere vocationl guidance to vocational training. Most of us have now reached the point where we are ready to insist that an adequate public-school system ought to have at its command courses of training for any legitimate occupation that a child should wish to follow; and we wish to find out some rational way of advising the children how to select their courses of training and consequently their future vocations. We realize that there are none of our school systems that come up to that ideal, but it is something to be at the point where we are all ready to agree as to the need. In other words, we have now reached the problem of ways and means.
Of course the most obvious demand is for an increased variety of instruction and for proportionately increased equipment in our public schools. We need more teachers and different kinds of teachers to present the various subjects which ought to be taught. But here, again, we come face to face with another practical problem. In order to decide intelligently just what kinds of training ought to be introduced into our schools, or at least to decide with what kinds we ought to begin, even if we grant that they all ought to be there ultimately, we need information of at least two kinds. We need, in the first place, a careful educational survey of the community; that is, we need to know what courses of training are already provided for in the community in question. We need such a survey as that made in Boston-a charting of all the educational opportunities of the community; because that might modify very markedly the initial steps toward introducing courses of training into the public-school systems.
We need, in the second place, an industrial survey. The industrial survey is a very difficult thing to make; it is a very difficult topic to deal with. Of course, a school has to take and does take the attitude of working for the welfare of the child and the community. It does not wish to introduce any courses of training into its system which would lead to occupations that are undesirable or injurious to the child. But it is not an easy matter to find out just what the good and the bad occupations are. We have some general information that applies. As to a few occupations, perhaps we know; as to a great many, particularly industrial occupations, we do not know exactly what the conditions are, whether they are such that the public school would be warranted in training workers for them or not, and we can only find out by making a careful industrial study of them.
I do not wish to lay down rules for making industrial surveys, but there are a few things that need to be avoided. In the first place we can not make an industrial survey satisfactorily by sending out cards to be filled out by employers, or even by interviewing employers. A great many employers are not willing to tell the truth about their
industries, or at least are not willing to tell the bad features. Again, the leaders of industry resent a demand for publicity; they insist that their business is their individual affair and that no one has a right to meddle with it. Further, employers often make their answers from a point of view so different from that of the questions that it is not easy to interpret them.
To make an industrial survey we have to consider both sides of the industry as an employment, and it seems to me absolutely necessary to interview a large number of individual employers to get weekly rates, average time unemployed, yearly income, average weekly wages for the year, etc. In order to do all that we need a staff of trained workers. It can not be done by the teachers in the schools, because they have not the time and they have not the experience.
There are various ways of getting industrial information other than by means of a survey. The ways we have at present are the continuation schools; the compulsory continuation schools, which keep our public schools in contact with the children in industries for a year or two; the system of registering changes of positions, such as we have in Ohio, which brings the children all back to the central office, where the information may be obtained; and then the placement work with a systematic "follow up."
There is great difference of opinion as to how early placement work ought to begin, as to whether it is wise at present to try to place beginners in industries at all; but I think we all agree that ultimately placement work is one of the things to look forward to. It is unquestionably a valuable means of getting just the kind of industrial information which the school needs so badly in deciding its courses of industrial training.
Then there is the further problem facing us of the form of instruction; how closely shall industrial courses be identified with the industry and how closely with the school. Is it safe to put the courses on a part-time system-a little bit of industrial instruction in the school and a little within the industry? Should we have separate industrial schools under different boards of education, or should the industrial courses be made an integral part of the public-school system? These are all problems on which we are at present taking somewhat different attitudes and on which we need more information. Even if we did know what attitude to take about the form of industrial training, we should still be face to face with the problem of guidance; we should still have before us the question, how to sort the children in the schools into the various groups-which class to send into industry, which class into commercial work, which class into professional work, and which class into the academic group.
On what basis are we going to make any such decision as that; and just how is it to be done? Suppose we had teachers who were from
the start interested in a child's future career, interested in him as an individual; would those teachers without any further assistance be able to come to a wise decision as to advice in guiding that child? It is worth finding out how much assistance experimental psychology can render; we do not now know. Sometimes we talk about mental ability as though it was a very special kind of thing; we seem to assume that tucked away somewhere in each individual child there is some special aptitude which, if it could be ferreted out by any proper test, would decide the kind of occupation that child ought to take. Again, we talk about mental ability as though it were a very general quality which, if possessed by the individual, would fit him to follow any one of the higher types of occupation, and which, if lacking, would send the individual to one of the simpler and more mechanical occupations. Where between those extremes does the truth of the matter lie?
We often talk as though individuals were divided into two classes, some of whom should do mental work and some manual work. We talk about mind workers and hand workers, as though if a man works well with his hands he can not work well with his head, and vice versa. Is there any foundation for that assumption? In Cincinnati we tested 149 children with regard to their simple motor abilities and with regard to their mental abilities, and we found that those who are best in the mental tests are also, on the whole, best in the physical tests and in physical development. In so far as that evidence goes it would seem to show that there is not only no opposition between manual and mental ability, but that the two are much more likely to be correlated than opposed. Our reason for assuming that any child that can work well with his hands but not with his head. ought perhaps to be assigned to handwork is really because that is all that is left for him. That is not, however, a safe basis for action.
There is also the study of occupations. In Cincinnati we have a man trained in experimental psychology who is making a study of the shoe industry. As he goes through the factories he pays special attention to the details of the occupation. There are some 200 different processes in each factory. He is trying to group them, to see what types of work are involved, and then to find out whether for each type of occupation it would be possible to devise tests which would separate the workers.
The women's work in a shoe factory is for the most part of a much simpler and more mechanical type than that of the men, and the only distinction he can find that seems to be of importance is the distinction between hand workers and machine workers. The foremen tell him that they find quite generally that the women who succeed at the machines do not like the handwork, and that those