Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

6. Conditions under which the work is performed.-(a) Does the work involve any peculiar physical or nervous strain or present peculiarly unhealthy conditions? (b) Are the nature and conditions of the work such as to stimulate the intelligence of workers or such as to narrow and restrict their growth? (c) Are the influences surrounding the work morally deteriorating?

7. Relations of occupation to school training.—(a) Is the industry hampered by lack of knowledge or training on the part of beginners? (b) Is general school training beyond the "working-paper" grade of value for success in the occupation? (c) Is general school training beyond graduation from grammar school of advantage? (d) Is a complete high-school education of advantage? (e) Is industrialschool training in any form an advantage? (f) If either general or vocational training is an important advantage, just what kind of training is most necessary for efficiency? (1) General knowledge, (2) industrial and economic intelligence, (3) specialized technical knowledge, or (4) manipulative skill? (g) Would such instruction be most helpful if obtained before entrance upon the occupation or after?

As a result of the investigation outlined it should be possible to determine first of all whether the situation in the particular industry is such as to make school instruction in some form desirable from the standpoint of added efficiency; that is, whether the industry requires some form of skilled or technical knowledge that is not readily or satisfactorily obtained under conditions of regular work. Second, granted that this need is indicated, the investigation should allow us to determine whether the industry represents economic, sanitary, and other conditions that justify the community in providing means to assist its workers. Third, the investigation should indicate with some degree of definiteness what type of vocational school work is best adapted for serving the industry; that is, whether an all-day preparatory trade school dealing with pupils before entrance into the industry or part-time day classes or evening classes is needed and to what kind of subject matter such classes should address themselves. Furthermore, if it is desired, we should be able to ascertain for the industry in which vocational instruction is not an indicated need whether general school instruction or social-welfare work is an important need of the worker. Such data should allow us to ascertain fairly well the type of school instruction needed for the particular industry.

To illustrate the way in which such data might be interpreted in terms of a constructive program, let us examine two or three typical industries.

Industry 1.-In this industry both skilled and technical knowledge are required for efficiency. The requisite skill is obtainable under

conditions of practical work, but not the technical knowledge. The possibility of outside school instruction to supply this technical knowledge is consequently indicated. It is found that difficulty is experienced in obtaining efficient high-grade workers; it is also found that the industry presents adequate economic returns; that the conditions of work are satisfactory; and that opportunities for advancement are open. It is also found that beginners are not admitted below 16 years of age. Such conditions taken by themselves would indicate possibilities for either a preparatory trade school for those between 14 and 16 years of age, part-time day classes, or evening classes.

Further detailed study would be necessary to determine whether the required technical knowledge could be gained by boys below 16 years of age in a preparatory trade school, and whether they would attend such a school; whether or not the employers would allow attendance on part-time day classes; and still further consideration to determine what type of school would be best fitted for this particular condition.

Industry 2.-In this industry skill is needed for efficiency; conditions of practical work do not allow skill to be readily obtained; the trade brings good returns; conditions of work are satisfactory; difficulty is experienced in obtaining efficient high-grade workers; opportunities for advancement to high-grade work are frequent; beginners are not taken below 16 years of age. Such conditions indicate the possibilities of school instruction to supply training and skill. The same analysis would be necessary. In this case four possible school opportunities are suggested-a preparatory trade school for those from 14 to 16 years of age; a trade school for those above 16; part-time day classes; evening classes. Further investigation would be necessary to determine whether sufficient skill to meet the case could be given in a preparatory trade school; whether young boys below 16 would attend such a school; whether they would attend a school for a sufficient period after reaching 16 years of age; and whether or not the employers would allow attendance on part-time day classes. Still further consideration would be necessary to determine what type of school would be best fitted for this particular condition.

Industry 3.-In this industry skill is needed, but little technical knowledge. Difficulty is experienced in obtaining efficient high-grade skilled workers; wages of high-grade workers are good; conditions of workers fairly satisfactory; opportunities for obtaining skill needed for advancement are small; beginners enter in large numbers at 14 to 16 years of age and obtain fair wages. Such conditions indicate the possibility of a day preparatory school with short-term courses, part-time classes, or evening classes. Further study would be needed to determine the type best fitted.

If the need for general education or for social welfare work is to be looked into, the investigation should give at least primary indications on this side-if, for instance, the industry presents need for but little skill or technical knowledge, but presents fair returns in the upper grades, to which advancement can be made through experience; if the conditions of work as far as health and growth are concerned are satisfactory; if beginners are entered at 14 years of age—at the working-paper stage. Under such conditions it is probable that the extension of general education will be of important benefit to the workers. This would be doubly true of conditions similar to those just mentioned, but under which the line of advancement was very restricted, and juvenile workers, although employed in large numbers, would find employment only for short periods.

Furthermore, such an investigation would reveal conditions in which little skill or technical knowledge is required; in which, although the opportunity for advancement to fair wages is present, the work is concerned with such a narrow range of operations in connection with automatic machinery that the daily routine is monotonous and deadening in its effect. The study of such conditions of industry would very probably point to the provision of physical and social recreation as the greatest benefit that could be conferred upon workers.

B. HOW SHALL WE STUDY THE INDUSTRIES FOR THE PURPOSES OF VOCATIONAL GUIDANCE?

Prof. FRANK M. LEAVITT,

University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.

Since vocational education and vocational guidance are generally recognized as two phases of the great economic and social movement to improve the condition of those who form the base of the human pyramid which we call civilization, it may be asked, when the question "How shall we study an industry for purposes of vocational education?" has been answered, whether there will remain anything to be said from the point of view of vocational guidance.

If there be any distinction between the two viewpoints, it is because the movement, as already noted, is both economic and social, and because vocational education might possibly be expected to emphasize its economic phases, and vocational guidance certainly should emphasize its social features. It is possible to think of vocational education as having for its purpose the salvation of our industrial system and the maintenance of our commercial supremacy, but vocational guidance must have as its chief purpose the salvation of the lives and the ideals of the Nation's workers.

The two are not necessarily antagonistic, but the energy which impels each movement is likely to be drawn from a somewhat differ

ent source. For this reason, if we study an industry from the point of view of vocational guidance, it may be for the purpose of bringing about a modification of existing conditions and methods in the industry quite as much as to secure a modification of the conditions and methods of education. It is well within the range of possibility that vocational guidance, when carried out in a comprehensive, purposeful, and scientific way, may force upon industry many modifications which will be good not only for the children but equally for the industry.

For example, we hear much about a "minimum wage." It is frequently contended that the minimum wage should be at least a living wage. But this makes no provision whatever for the fact that we have always had, and always shall have, children who are only partly self-supporting because they are in that transition stage between the period of dependence, on the one hand, and of full responsibility for one's own maintenance, on the other. What is radically wrong in the present situation is that children so often are obliged to work, and work intensely, for the full adult working period, and are given for their services a wage only sufficient for part support. When children work part time only, and when the remaining hours are spent as children should spend them in recreation and study, we shall hear less about a minimum wage for minors. And what is more to the point, the child-employing industry which is forced to adjust itself to the needs and rights of children in respect to hours of labor will inevitably gain by such adjustment.

The point I would try to make is this, that in studying an industry from the point of view of vocational guidance, we should try to ascertain what the possibilities are for reorganizing its methods of employing minors, and to show how such modification may result in common advantage, both to the industry and to the industrial worker. Vocational guidance will not hesitate to demand such modification merely because the industry is rich and powerful and the child relatively poor and weak. Why should we hesitate to lay hands on industry in the name of education when we have already laid hands on the school in the name of industry?

In studying the characteristics of the various industries in order to determine what are the "good" industries, we are told that a "good" industry is one in which there are clearly defined lines of progress from the lowliest "job" up to some of the prominent responsible positions in the organization, thus providing incentive for both work and study. In studying an industry from the guidance point of view, it is essential that we stand between the school and the industry and look in both directions-forward into the shop and backward into the school life of the child. We must be able to

say, eventually, that such and such experiences gained in the last year or two of the child's school life have rendered the first year or two of his vocational life more efficient and progressive than some other type of school work. In order to do this it will be necessary, not only to improve immensely the nature of our school records, but to establish the right to exercise some sort of community control and supervision of working minors, so that records of the early vocational years may also be preserved. It is only by taking the late school records, together with the early vocational records, and by considering them as a whole, as a continuous experience, that valuable conclusions can be reached and the industry be truly "studied.” It is quite clear that all this will take time and that the process can not produce immediate results, but beginnings can be made now; and we should remember that the project upon which we are engaged is one that will last indefinitely, advancing by slow growth from within rather than by superficial accretion.

Since any plan for giving vocational guidance involves the cooperation of parent, teacher, and employer, it is reasonable to expect that modifications will be brought about not only in the school but also in the home and in the shop. It is quite as reasonable to expect that the employer may be brought to see the advantage of making the early vocational experience educative as that the teacher shall be induced to give the later school experiences a real vocational flavor. In the problem of making a better adjustment between the child, the educational methods, and the vocational demands, we shall certainly find that the characteristics of childhood are more fundamental and changeless than are the characteristics of our industrial systems or of our school organizations. The "factory system," which is giving us most of our difficult problems in the industrial education movement, has evolved its important features within 200 years; our modern school has its roots in an educational tradition of perhaps four centuries; the characteristics of childhood are the same now as ages ago. They are constant-one might say eternal-while, by comparison, the "systems" of education and of industry are but transitory.

The child needs for his complete development play, study, and work. We can not improve matters materially by "saving" him from work until he is 16 or 18, for, as Prof. Ely has pointed out, the problem of child idleness is a far more serious one in the United States to-day than is the problem of child labor. So we must "save," that is to say, "improve" the work, and whatever may be of importance in studying an industry from the point of view of vocational education, from the point of view of vocational guidance the prime factor will always be the child, whose rights will be placed far above those of property or the dictates of educational tradition.

46693°-14 -6

« AnteriorContinuar »