Page images

In the winter of 1894 sloyd was introduced into the normal school here, and instruction has been given in wood-work in several of our private schools in recent years; but it was not until September, 1896, that manual training became a part of the course of study in the public schools of this city.

As an experiment, four sloyd rooms were fitted with from twenty-two to twenty-five benches each, and supplied with all necessary tools, at a cost of about $350 a room.

Instruction was given in each sloyd school six hours a day, the time being divided among four classes. Each class received one lesson a week. This arrangement accommodated all the boys of the sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth grades, and a few girls — nearly two thousand pupils altogether. It has been found necessary to establish new sloyd schools each year, until now we have nine one in each ward. One more school is needed in the southwest part of the city, in order properly to accommodate all now taking sloyd work.

As yet manual training has not been extended to other grades, nor has the work been given to girls, except to a very limited number. We hope, however, for the extension of sloyd and for the introduction of cooking and sewing.

It did not take long to learn that our classes were too large for the most successful individual teaching, that too much work was being crowded into one day, and that many of the boys had too far to go to attend the sloyd school. Accordingly, when the new sloyd rooms were opened, they were provided with only sixteen benches each, just one more than the ideal number. The time for each teacher has been much reduced, while the time given to each class remains the same — that is, from an hour and fifteen minutes to an hour and thirty minutes per week.

During the first year of sloyd work we used the set of models that had formerly been in use in Throop Polytechnic Institute, in which school children are given daily lessons. No attempt was made to cover all the ground, but rather to learn how much the average boy could accomplish in the allotted time.

In the light of this experience certain changes have been made from time to time in an effort to hit upon a set of models which should embody all the virtues of the old in a more condensed form.

We now have, for the sixth grade, Course I, containing eight models, in which are taught length, cross, and oblique sawing; turning; length, end, and surface planing; horizontal boring, filing, use of spokeshave, nailing, modeling edges, etc.

In this grade the drawings have but one view. They are made from dictation and from blackboard drawings, which are, of course, on a much larger scale. This thoroly familiarizes the pupil with the use of the ruler, and exercises his knowledge of mathematics. If, for instance, a boy is told to draw a circle five and three-eighths inches in diameter, he must do some thinking to determine the radius, find that measurement on the ruler, set his compasses, draw the circle, and then verify his work. If he has measured carelessly, or used a dull lead, the chances are that the circle is wrong and must be made over, and that the boy will discover this for himself. He soon learns to exercise care at every step. A sixteenth of an inch means more to a boy who has had a few lessons in sloyd than to the average adult. If the blue print were before him at this stage of his development, he would stand his compasses on that to take the measurement, and draw without giving much thought to it.

Course II, for the seventh grade, contains six models. In addition to the exercises given in the first course, we here have gauging, squaring, whittling, vertical boring, nail-setting, gouging, and modeling with spokeshave and block-plane.

The drawings in this course have two views, and are made from the model in connection with the blue print.

Course III, for eighth-grade pupils, consists of four models - the nail box, mitered frame, towel-roller, and half-lapping frame. Here are learned the halving, half-lapping, and mitered joints, rabbet-planing, screwing, chiseling, and simple carving. The drawings have three views. The pupils draw from the blue print, using the model when necessary to an understanding of the blue print. The time comes when the pupil should be able to make the model from the drawing alone, as a carpenter builds a house from the plan, never having seen a house like it.

Course IV is designed for boys of the ninth grade. Here are taught dovetailing, and the making of other difficult joints, such as open mortise and tenon, double mortise and tenon with miter, half-blind mortise and tenon with haunch, and many others; and the work in carving is continued.

These four courses are found to be sufficient for the boy of average ability, who receives promotion each term. For the fast workers, and for such as remain two terms in the same grade, other work must be provided. Some boys who come to us have been accustomed to the use of tools at home, and have already acquired considerable skill. For these exceptional cases we have many supplementary models. This supplementary work,


should be selected with care. If left too much to the choice of the pupil, there is danger of his selecting models too far in advance of his work, or so simple as to have for him no educational value.

The boys of Los Angeles, almost without exception, have taken kindly to sloyd work from the first.

Not long ago about 280 boys of the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades were asked to write answers to a set of questions prepared with a view of finding out more definitely their attitude toward manual training. Making all due allowance for the borrowed opinions so often apparent in children's answers, and for the pious little frauds who try to say something to please the teacher, I think we may still learn something from their answers.

by the

Nearly all wanted more sloyd work, but many failed to state how much, A majority thought two lessons a week of an hour and a half each would be about right. Some wanted one hour every day. Several spoke for two whole days each week. A few were satisfied with the present amount. Two boys alone wanted none at all. I wonder if that many boys could be found who would be willing to give up granımar.

One of the questions was : “What is your favorite model ?” Here are a few of the answers :

“I like the towel-roller best, because it is most useful.”
'I prefer the lemon-squeezer, because I took more pains with it."

“I like the fishline winder, because I can use it when I go to the beach this summer.”

“ The hammer handle is my favorite model, because I am going to sell it."

“I like the shelf best, because my mother likes it."

“ I like all my models, because they will come handy when I get married and go to keeping house." This was from an eleven-year-old young. ster in the sixth grade.

Some expressed a preference for certain models because they were pretty ; others because they were hardest to make or easiest to make. Several liked certain models because they had sold them to their mothers. The reason most frequently given, however, was “because it is useful.” It was gratifying to note that the number of boys who liked best those models which were useful in the home far exceeded the number who preferred such models as were useful to themselves alone.

Their answers to the question as to what good, if any, they expected to derive from the work showed a great diversity of opinions. A few seemed to look upon it merely as a means of recreation. Many said it helped them in arithmetic and in drawing. One little fellow said: “It gives me more 'ackery.'” His accuracy did not extend to spelling, evidently. One boy said : “If it had not been for my taking sloyd work, I should never have thought of going into an architect's office to learn the business."

Almost all seemed to believe that skill in the use of tools, and the ability to make things needed at home, is the chief good to be derived from the study.

Their answers to the question as to what they have done with the models they have taken home show that they place a high value on their work. They have shellacked them, sent them to Germany, to Japan, to South America, back east to grandma, to uncles, aunts, and cousins all over the known world. They have salted them down in their trunks, put them in their big sisters' bedrooms, given them away as Christmas or birthday presents, and hung them up in the parlor for company to see. They have done everything on earth with their models except to lose them.



FIRST SESSION.- WEDNESDAY, JULY 12, 1899 The session was opened at 2:30 P. M. in the Jewish Synagogue, with the president, William A. Mason, Philadelphia, Pa., in the chair.

After the president's address, a paper, “ Decorative Composition : Its Educationa. Value," was read by Henry Talbot, special teacher of manual tra g, New York city, which was discussed by Miss Mertice MacCrea Buck, Dearborn-Morgan School, Orange, N. J.

Miss Katherine M. Ball, supervisor of drawing, San Francisco, Cal., read a paper, “Problems in Artistic Rendering.” Discussion by Walter A. Tenney, supervisor of drawing, Fresno, Cal., and Miss Eda Parrish, supervisor of drawing, San Bernardino, Call The following committees were appointed :

D. R. Augsburg, Oakland, Cal.

Miss Frances E. Ransom, New York city.
Walter A. Tenney, Fresno, Cal.

Langdon S. Thompson, Jersey City, N. J.

Miss Josephine A. Greene, Plattsburg, N. Y. Miss Katherine M. Ball, San Francisco, Cal.

Henry Talbot, New York city.
The meeting was then adjourned until 2 : 30 P. M., Thursday.

Miss Emma Banister.

SECOND SESSION.--THURSDAY, JULY 13 The meeting was called to order at 2:30 P. M. by the president.

The first speaker, Dr. Herman T. Lukens, State Normal School, California, Pa., read a paper on “ Drawing in the Early Years,” which was discussed by Miss Ada M. Laughlin, State Normal School, Los Angeles, Cal., and Miss Esther M. Wilson, State Normal School, Chico, Cal.

Then followed papers, “Art Instruction in High and Normal School," by Miss Josephine A. Greene, State Normal School, Plattsburg, N. Y., and “Art Instruction in the University,” by Professor Henry T. Ardley, University of California, Berkeley, Cal. These papers were discussed by Miss Frances E. Ransom, Training School for Teachers, New York city; and Miss Gratia L. Rice, state director of drawing, New York.

Dr. Langdon S. Thompson, supervisor of drawing, Jersey City, N. J., presented the preliminary report of the Committee on a Course of Study in Elementary Art Education. It was read and adopted.

The report of the Committee on Resolutions was then read and adopted :
The Committee on Resolutions begs leave to offer the following:

It is the sense of your Committee on Resolutions that we convey to the rabbi and the board of trustees of this beautiful synagogue our thanks for their courtesy and generosity in giving to us so appropriate a place of meeting.

To the Committee on Arrangements, Miss M. Louise Hutchinson, Mrs. C. P. Bradfield, Miss Ada M. Laughlin, and Miss Frances Sterrit, we extend our thanks for the complete arrangements that their forethought and industry have provided.

" You

To the officers of this department for their uniform courtesy, and fair conduct of its program and meetings, we extend a hearty " thank you."

To the officers and people of this city and this state, for the royal greeting, the generous hospitality, and the many evidences of their kindness, and thoughtful provision for our comfort and happiness, we say: have won our hearts, and our capitulation to you is unconditional.”

D. R. AUGSBURG, Chairman,

WALTER A. TENNEY. The report of the Committee on Nominations was then called for. The report was as follows:

For President - Miss Frances E. Ransom, New York city.
For Vice-President - Professor Henry T. Ardley, Berkeley, Cal.
For Secretary – Miss Mary A. Woodmansee, Dayton, O.
Executive Committee – William A. Mason, Philadelphia, Pa.

The report having been duly adopted, and the nominees declared elected for the ensuing year, the department adjourned.







If it were not for the flexible nature of the subject of art education, the amount of experimentation which it has undergone would not have been tolerated.

In art education we have passed thru the stage of uniform development for purely utilitarian ends, to the stage of individual development for creative ability and self-expression. We began some twenty years ago in the purely industrial, or commercial, spirit, basing our work, along with the three R's of the old curriculum, on the belief that the child must be fitted for an occupation; and that in drawing his hand simply required to be trained in exercises developing only manual skill along the lines of so-called industrial art.

He was therefore given a purely automatic drill, chiefly in geometric or conventional forms, resulting in making his hand very skillful in imitating, but leaving the mind barren of real creative activities.

Later, however, under the impulse of modern psychology and child study, we saw the study of drawing widening out into art education. Then for the first time we began to see the full value of the subject in awakening the perceptive, creative, and expressive faculties of the child. for a long period these vital functions of thought were circumscribed in

« PreviousContinue »