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DEPARTMENT OF MANUAL TRAINING
FIRST SESSION.-WEDNESDAY, JULY 12, 1899 The first session of the department was opened in Elk’s Hall, 231 South Spring street. In the absence of the president, Judson E. Hoyt, Menomonie, Wis., and the secretary, Charles A. Bennett, Peoria, Ill., Principal Charles H. Keyes, Holyoke, Mass., acted as president, and James E. Addicott, of San José Normal School, California, as secretary.
The first paper read before the department was entitled “The Teacher in the ManualTraining School,” by W. A. Edwards, president of Throop Polytechnic Institute, Pasadena, Cal.
The second paper was read by Vinton S. Paessler, principal of Barlow School of Industrial Arts, Binghamton, N. Y.; subject, “The Educational Value of MetalWorking.”
Discussion of the two papers read by William F. Ringnaldo, of California ; Frank H. Hall, Chicago, III.; C. A. Kunou, Los Angeles, Cal., and Principal C. H. Keyes, Holyoke, Mass.
The department voted to recommend to the Board of Directors a change of the name "Manual and Industrial Department ” to the “Department of Manual Training," and the secretary was asked to communicate this action to that body. Acting-President C. H. Keyes then appointed the following nominating committee : C. A. Kunou, Los Angeles, Cal.
V. S. Paessler, of New York.
Frank H. Hall, of Illinois.
SECOND SESSION.--THURSDAY, JULY 13
The department was called to order at 3 P. M. by Acting-President Keyes.
On motion, the report of the nominating committee was received, and the secretary was instructed by a unanimous vote of the department to cast the ballot for the nominees.
The first paper on the program was read by Miss Gertrude E. English, principal of Farren School, Chicago, Ill., on Constructive Work in the Elementary Schools." The paper was discussed by Mrs. C. L. Place, of the State Normal School, San José, Cal.
The second paper was read by James E. Addicott, State Normal School, San José, Cal., the subject being “Correlation of Manual Training with Other School Subjects." The paper was discussed by P. M. Fisher, Oakland, Cal., and F. H. Meyer, Stockton, Cai.
The next paper was read by Miss Annette Johnson, Los Angeles, Cal., on “ The Manual-Training System of Los Angeles.”
In the general discussion which followed the following members took part: C. A. Kunou, Los Angeles, Cal.; Miss Perla G. Bowman, of Ohio; Miss Edna Rich, Santa
Barbara, Cal.; Miss Mertice MacCrea Buck, New York city; President C. H. Keyes,
JAMES E. ADDICOTT,
Charles Lamb, speaking of his sister Mary, tells us that her education was not much attended to, but that “she was tumbled early, by accident or design, into a spacious closet of good old English reading, without much selection or prohibition, and browsed at will upon that fair and wholesome pasturage.” And he adds: “Had I twenty girls, they should be brought up in exactly this fashion.” However highly we may value the study of English literature as a means of education, I suppose none of us would be ready to adopt the whimsical educational scheme here outlined. Its one great defect is the omission, not of certain essentials of the modern curriculum — number work, nature study, or even sloyd -- but the lack of an intelligent, sympathetic, living teacher. Not books, apparatus, method, but teachers make a school. President Harper has truly said that the old definition of a university -- a saw-log with Mark Hopkins and a student sitting on it is entirely inadequate in view of the elaborate equipment now demanded in universities. But it still remains true that the saw-log with Mark Hopkins comes much nearer the ideal university than all the material equipment of Williams College without him and his fellow-teachers. The soul of the child is akin, not to the lifeless matter about him, but to the soul of his teacher.
And he recognizes and responds to this relationship. “Iron sharpeneth iron : so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”
But it is surely unnecessary for me to urge upon the consideration of this audience arguments to establish the importance of the teacher. Accepting this without further discussion, we may well ask where we are to get the best teachers as we need them. What training ought they to have had, and what kind of an institution will best give that training ? One of our important industries in this and other parts of the country is the manufacture of sugar from the sugar-beet. Now, I understand that the managers of beet-sugar factories, knowing just how many beets they can use in a season, are not content to trust to chance for their annual supply, but make long-time contracts with the farmers round about, the farmers agreeing to plant yearly a certain acreage with beets, and the factory covenanting to buy the product. . Let us be not less wise in our day and generation, but, knowing something of the qualifications needed in a teacher in a manual-training school, let us do what we can to insure proper and adequate training for those who are to teach.
Where may one best make his preparation for the teaching of sloyd ? Shall he be content with the sloyd training given in such of our standard normal schools as include this subject in their curriculum, or shall he seek the opportunities of such special schools as the Sloyd Training School of Boston ? Shall he take a general teacher's training course of three or four years, making a more or less thoro study of all the subjects of the curriculum-and incidentally of sloyd-exploring their varying educational values, learning how they may be best used for the education of the young, studying the psychology of the child and the laws of his development, trying to solve the larger educational problem, and incidentally the problem of sloyd education therein contained? Or shall he, having secured a fair general education, with some knowledge of pedagogical theory and the work of the teacher -- shall he give a year or two of intensive study to the special problems of sloyd in a school where sloyd is the dominant interest, and where it may be studied with the thoroness and single-mindedness which the enthusiast demands? These questions are not applicable to sloyd alone. They may be asked with regard to other so-called "special" subjects — music, drawing, gymnastics,
And perhaps in the case of each of these special subjects, certainly in the case of sloyd, considerations on each side are severally so strong that it is not easy, probably as yet not possible, to give a categorical
Permit ine to indicate the points of departure of the argument and some modifying considerations which we must bear in mind.
We must begin with the child and his needs, as indeed the pedagogy of the day rests primarily upon a study of the child. What light does a consideration of his needs in the school shed on the question ?
he question? It tells us, for one thing, that there should be a unity in his program of daily work. He divides his time between reading, number work, science study, and what not, but these must not be utterly disconnected with one another and his day's work disjointed. He should study, not half a dozen isolated subjects, each stealing interest and attention from the others, resulting in a distraction of effort and dissipation of strength, but a series of topics varying greatly, but having real and significant relations with one another relations which the child himself in some measure appreciates so that one study lends aid to another. This essential and pervading unity in diversity must exist in the mind of the teacher, else it cannot exist for the pupil. The connections between the different subjects are not so obvious that he who runs may read. They are oftenest not superficial, but deeper-lying, and are appreciated, not so much when mentioned only or
pointed out, but when made vital and real by habitual recognition in the daily work. The teacher of any subject, then, must have been thoroly instructed in all the subjects of the curriculum and in their interrelations. And to this end he must have studied them as parts of a harmonious whole, not as isolated topics. There is, then, a marked advantage if the sloyd teacher has made his professional preparation in a school with a complete curriculum, in which sloyd occupies its normal place and sustains its normal relations with the other subjects.
We cannot, however, leave the subject here. It does not necessarily follow that sloyd teachers should make their preparation in the regular normal schools. In the first place, not many of our normal schools are now giving sloyd instruction, and other facilities for such teaching are still needed. But more than this is true. Special schools for the training of sloyd teachers are not only a necessity until the work is taken up by enough normal schools to satisfy the demand, but they must do a work which the normal schools cannot do. For the present sloyd is comparatively a new subject. Those who wish to teach it have themselves had no sloyd instruction as children. The subject is entirely strange to them. They need a longer course in sloyd and a fuller exploration in this field than in the other subjects of the curriculum. , With these they have already made acquaintance, and in them they have already attained proficiency. The would-be teacher needs to study such subjects, for the most part only professionally, in order to learn what their pedagogical value is and to study methods of teaching them. Sloyd he must learn practically as well as professionally. He must master it as a new subject, must himself acquire skill in it, must begin as a tyro and cover the whole course, and at the same time he must study it as one who is to teach it. Either a disproportionate prominence must be given to sloyd among the usual normal-school subjects, or we must have schools in which this may be done. The former alternative-giving special time and attention to sloyd in the regular courses - is undesirable as destroying the balance of topics and time in the curriculum. Not many of our normal pupils desire to become special teachers of sloyd, and it would be unwise to construct our normal courses to meet the needs of the few. The alternative is to provide those who intend to teach sloyd with the opportunities available in a special school.
Moreover, the subject itself needs the special study which is possible only in a special school. There remains still much to be done in mastering and applying its principles, in further adapting the system as we now have it to the conditions of today's schools. There are needed the special laboratory and library facilities, the larger opportunity of time and interest, the greater concentration of thought and effort, undisturbed by other interests, which are the strength and the raison d'être of the special school. The still unsolved problems of sloyd and manual training must be largely worked out in these special schools.
What ideal of a manual-training teacher should these schools, and for that matter all training schools, hold up? Is special emphasis to be laid upon the mechanical or the pedagogical side of the work? The old question, Do we want a mechanic or a teacher in the school shop? is now uniformly answered by saying that we want a teacher. We want a man who understands how to teach. We want an educated man, who will command the respect of his pupils for his refinement and culture, for his habitual use of correct English, for his interest in things intellectual, for his unfailing courtesy, for his loyalty to principle, and for his nobility of character. Yes, he must be a teacher - everything in education and culture and character which we would have any teacher be. But this answer, while good, is not complete. We do, indeed, want a teacher, but a teacher who is also a mechanic. He must be a master of the mechanical work in which he seeks to give instruction. We never think of tolerating any deficiency on the part of the teacher in any other subject. Imagine a “good teacher” trying to teach arithmetic and blundering in his figures, or taking a class in Latin and constantly getting his forms wrong! Educational mechanics must be workmanlike in order to be educational. The boys must thoroly and spontaneously respect the workmanship of their teacher. He must be a good cabinet-maker is, as a teacher, he is to be a good character-maker. If his work in the shop does not command their respect and admiration, if it is amateurish, if it is inaccurate and shackly, no amount or variety of attainment on his part in other lines can avail to command and hold their respect. His work must be good, and he must exact good work of them, teaching them on their part to be content with nothing less. Bungling, careless work is neither educationally nor commercially worth the material wasted on it. Here we want nothing less than the best. The following suggestive sign was once displayed before a grocery store : “Absolutely fresh eggs, 25 cents a dozen; fresh eggs, 20 cents; eggs, 15 cents.” It is recorded that the grocer readily sold out his twenty-five cent stock, but at the end of the day had his “fresh eggs” and “eggs” still on hand.
The preparation of teachers for our more advanced shop-work—the more difficult wood-work, the work of the forging-room, and of the machine shop ---must doubtless be made either in schools of technology or in such training schools -- like Teachers' College of Columbia University---as offer sufficient accommodation for the mastery of this work. Both kinds of schools have their peculiar advantages. In the training school attention is directed largely to the educational value of the various exercises, and a study is made of the pedagogical principles on which a manualtraining course must be constructed. In the technical school the door is open to a wider view of the mechanical principles practiced in the shop. The student is alive to the tremendous importance, in civilization and industry, of the practical arts whose elements he is acquiring. The