Page images

training is limited to teaching and learning the use of tools, the method of working materials, and the construction and use of shop-drawings, where the mastery of tools, materials and methods, is the immediate end in riere. And should we not also insist that when, on the basis of more or less manual training, the student goex on to utilize his training in science and art laboratories, his work there should be called Science Work" or "Art Work"?

This question contains three divisions. With one exception the unanimous answer to the first division is, that the experimental study of physics, chemistry and dynamics is not manual training properly so-called. At the same time, all agree that such experimental work should be encouraged, and that all ? sible skill of hand and knowledge of materials should be utilized in experimental work. I give Mr. Crawford's answer below.

The second part contains a definition of manual training. This is indorser by all but Messis. Crawford, Bennett, and Mills. Mr. Mills says he see: “D) reason why a moderate amount of experimental work in physics and chemistry should not be included in manual-training work in an elementary war in culle nection with the purely ‘book’ work.” Though apparently differing, it seems probable that Mr. Milds is more interested in maintaining experimental work in science than he is in giving exact definitions.

Mr. Crawford says (and the italics are his):

“I think that all experimental work, whether in physics, chemistry, dynamics. or elsewhere, in which the success of the experiment depends upon the skill of the hand, should be recognized as manual training. I do not believe that manual training is limited to teaching and learning the use of tools, the methods of working materials, and the construction of and use of shop-drawings, where the masters of tools, materials and methods is the immediate end in view; but I do beliere that manual training embraces all hand erercises, with or without tools, the primary object of which is intellectual derelopment."

Mr. Bennett says:

"If you will leave the phrase, and the construction and use of shop-drawings: out of the second part, and in its place put 'according to given drawings and specifications,' I will answer, yes. I see no good reason why the construction of drawings should be called manual training, but I think I do see many reasons why it should not. If we are to draw the lines around manual training so that the word will mean some specific branch of educational work, it seems to me that we must not have it include drawing.

"We all know what drawing is. It has become a necessary and permanent part of our school-work. Why cannot manual training, without robbing its neighbors. hold just as dignified and honorable position: Manual training is not a conglomerate, composed of dra ng, kindergarten work, scientific manipulation, and tradeschool work. However closely it may walk beside these, however much assistance it may render them, however much life it may receive from them, it still has distinguishing features which should forever make it a separate individual."

Mr. Sayre says in reference to the whole question:

"I think the work in the chemical, physical and electrical laboratories, in the third year, should be supplemented by the construction of apparatus for those de

artments, and also by the construction of typical forms involving mechanical priniples which do not require the agency of machinery to finish. The work in the iboratories I should call · Science Work,' and the freehand drawing, designing, colring, clay-modeling, wood-carving and grill-work I should designate as 'Art Work.?”

It thus appears that there is substantial agreement as to what is meant by the term, “ Manual Training," and as to the distinction between that work and science and art work. It may be well to discuss at this meeting the views of Mr. Crawford, and the propriety of including all freehand drawing, wood-carving, and grill-work, under “Art Work.”

3, 4. Should any regular shop-work except in wood be introduced into the grammar grades ? Should this wood-work include more than joinery and wood-carving? How long and how frequent should such excercises be?

All responses agree in answering “No” to both parts of question three.
Mr. Belfield says:

“Pasteboard, clay, and wood in schools lower than high schools. Joinery is enough in wood. Don't see much education in wood-carving, and don't practice it here."

Mr. Sayre:

"I doubt the wisdom of putting regular shop-work in the grammar grades, not only on account of the difficulties in getting teachers for that kind of work, but as a general thing boys under fourteen have not the physical strength to do the work properly, or the mental ability to comprend the logical processes involved in the work. It would largely be mechanical imitation, which is quite different from manual training."

Mr. Kleinschmidt:

“I am not in favor of introducing any regular shop-work, except wood. in the grammar grade, and then only in the highest grammar grade. I would not introduce wood-turning until they have finished this grade, as I find that pupils have not grown thoughtful enough to work safely with machinery. I think the tendency is to begin the regular instruction in the use of tools too early, before the pupil has reached the age of reflection. To such pupils the bright tools appeal more as pretty toys than as means by which certain ends are to be gained. Pupils when too young do not stop to reason out a process, but much rather come to the instructor with the question, What must I do next?' The older pupils in the same class will not ask such a question, but will go on, and come afterwards with the question, 'Is that correct?' The younger ones can imitate but not reason from one step to another."

Prof. Ordway:

" The best work for boys in the grammar school is wood-work and joinery in particular. Carving should be left for the higher schools. But, under some circumstances, wire-work, and what the Germans call .papp-arbeit,' might be introduced. I should not advise any work in the grammar school except what can be done with simple tools and without any machinery.

"I doubt the propriety of starting boys in wood-work before they are twelve years old. The lessons should occupy less than one hour, and I believe three lessons a week will do."

[ocr errors]

Mr. Crawford :

"I have had regular classes from lower and higher grammar grades, i, e., seventhand eighth-year pupils, or pupils twelve to fourteen years old, for the past four years, and they have been very profitable. We have one-hour lessons, three dat: per week, in shop. Two days per week, pupils take drawing in school-house."

Mr. Bumann:

"I don't think it would be profitable to have the grammar grades take up the wood-work. They are too young to get the most benefit from it, and it would be well to let it be introduced in the high school. I get good results by giving three lessons of one and one-half hours per week. I wouldn't advise giving any less than three lessons a week, and one and one-half hours long."

Mr. Mills:

“ The experience I have had at this time and for the past five years with students of the senior grammar grade, would dictate that regular work in wood should be carried no further down, for reasons expressed in Q. 29 of your letter. Even in this grade, many students are found too young to properly grasp the work. We found it necessary to cut the lessons down to forty-five minutes per day, in shop-work."

Mr. Bennett:

“In connection with this I wish to say, that I believe there is manual training that is best adapted to pupils of the seventh and eighth grades, but that it is not the same that is best adapted to pupils of high-school grade. I think it is useless to give a seventh-grade boy a complete kit of tools to work with. It is money wasted. The boy at that age can best acquire the mastery of but few tools. Give him the knife and the chisel, with the proper laying-out tools, and perhaps a small saw, and he has all that he can master in the time which properly belongs to manual training.

“In answer to the question, I would say that the average pupil cannot profitably undertake working in wood with edge tools earlier than the seventh grade. This statement is based on actual experience. In the Hancock school of this city. Mr. Pickwick tried the experiment in the knife- and try-square-work with pupils from the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. Only pupils of the two upper grades could do the work properly. My own experience in another school would verify this statement. Full kits of tools should not be given to the pupil until one year later.

“For pupils of the seventh grade the lessons should not be over thirty minutes long, if they have manual training twice per week. I should favor four thirty-tive or forty-minute lessons."

Mr. Anderson : "Lowest high-school grade, one hour and thirty minutes ; five lessons per week." Mr. Kilbon:

** Nine years of age, lessons forty minutes long; once a week for pupils nine and ten years of age."

5. Can edge tools, other than knives and xcixsorr, be put into pupil' hands in regular school-rooms?

This question was generally answered in the negative, and sometimes with emphasis.

Mr. Sayre says:

- Exercises in clay-modeling, drawing, and the making of geometric forms from cardboard, seem to me to be the only kind of manual work that can be practically carried out in the lower schools, as at present organized."

Prof. Ordway says:

*. For any manual training, for either boys or girls, there should be special rooms different from the regular school-rooms. When it is impossible to find any place for sewing, except the school-rooms, scissors and needles can be admitted for the time being."

Mr. Bennett replies:

“Yes, the chisel or carving-tool can be used if a proper desk attachment be furnished. (This answer is not based on actual experience, but I hope to have the experience before the year is out. )"

It will now be in order for Mr. Bennett to give us the result of experience. A very little experience is worth a good deal.

[Mr. B. reported that he had failed to try the experiment.]
Mr. Kleinschmidt says:

"I do not see what benefit can be derived from placing edge tools in pupils' hands in regular school-rooms, although I do believe that much good might be done if they were given two-foot rules, properly divided into inches, and these into sixteenths, and were taught not oniy how to read them, but also how to go through the processes of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of fractions and mixed numbers, with reference to the rule. I find that many pupils who have no difficulty in working such an example as this, 'Find one-half of one and fiveeighths,' in the class-room, are totally at sea when asked to find one-half of one and five-eighths inches in the shop."

6. Is it ever wise to attempt to give class instruction in wood-turning on lathes driven by foot? Is it not better, on the whole, to wait till power can be introduced !

Mr. Crawford answers:
** Decidedly better to have mechanical power."
Several others answer similarly, without going into particulars.
Mr. Kilbon says:
- Lathes necessitate power.
Mr. Bumann thinks:

“ It would be discouraging to the boys to have to drive a foot-power lathe, and would soon drive the boys out of the turning-room. It would pay to wait until power could be put in."

Dr. Belfield replies:

“Yes; but I have seen excellent work on foot lathes. Hand-work is more educative than lathe-work."

Mr. Steinert says:

" Yes. A boy who has learned to do turning on a lathe driven by his own footpower has more fully acquired the mastery of his hand; for he must then learn to

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

operate two sets of muscles simultaneously, and this is as different from turning og a lathe where power is supplied by steam, or otherwise, as two-hands is to one-hand playing on a piano. It requires more skill, and hence seems to me an advantage to boys learning. I have in my school two foot-power lathes, and I hear the boys cuidplaining occasionally, yet both they and I are gratified to see the splendid wurk being done, and I find it doesn't lessen their desire to be able to do turning one particle. Don't understand, however, that I would prefer foot-power where steam-power is nready established.”

In opposition to these two opinions is the following from Mr. Kleinschmidt: "I am not in favor of teaching wood-turning by means of foot-power lathes, When a pupil is learning the use of a tool he has enough to occupy his attention, and the labor necessary to run the lathe is bound to take his attention away from his tool; the result is, he does poor work and does not learn to use his tools properly.

* The argument that later on he may have to use foot-power lathes, does not hold at all, because after a pupil once knows how to use his tools, the labor of running a foot-power lathe will not be such as to keep him from using one if he can get no other. The trouble with the foot-power lathe is, that one must know how to u-e his tools before he can use the lathe - . like the Irishman who would never be able to ret his new boots on until he had worn them awhile."

Mr. Sayre's opinion is:

“I think it advisable to wait for power.' Anything that tends to distract the attention of the pupil from the thing in hand, tends to lessen the effectiveness of his works."

Prof. Ordway seems at first to favor the use of foot-lathes, but it will be seen that he comes out right at last.

“Foot-lathes are much used in Europe for slöjd instruction, and I believe that they might be used in high schools in this country, where power cannot be afforded. All school - houses are not heated by steam, and it costs something for shafting, pulleys, and belting, besides the daily cost of steam. And if the shop is in the school-building, machinery propelled by power is objectionable on account of the noise and jarring. Yet when the pupils are far enough advanced to use any machinery, they should be put into a high school, and the high-school shop in all large places ought to be provided with power."

Mr. Mills answers suggestively:

"I have never had any experience in giving instruction with foot-driven lathes, but should think that it would be decidedly wiser to wait for power. Electric motors are quite well fitted for the work in small shops."

7. Are there any whittling exercisex (slöjd) which have enough in them to justify their introduction into the school-room?

Mr. Crawford thinks it doubtful, as does Mr. Booth. Mr. Anderson thinks it depends entirely upon the teacher.

Mr. Steinert replies:

"Whittling exercises are good, and will be enjoyed by the pupils in the school-room as a relief from the constant strain of book-studying."

Dr. Belfield replies: "Doubtful; but as I am not familiar with slöjd, prefer to wait for more light."

He says:

« PreviousContinue »