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much information that is on the plane of his general development, food should be provided for this hungry imagination. Proper food for this purpose can be found only in the realms of pure literature and art.
The time is not so far back but that some of us can remember, when to speak of "literature" for the primary schools was an absurdity. Now many of the best writers of the times are busy making a "literature" for the youngest readers. God speed them, and hasten the day when their good work shall flood the land and flow into every household !
All good school realers contain much that is pure literature, well adapted to cultivate a correct taste, and graded to suit the child's grailual advancement; for these reasons they are often the best books for children to read in school. There should be in every school-room two or three different readers, one for use in learning the art of reading, and the others, for use in practicing it. But besides this, much supplementary reading is needed. We have some good supplementary readers, but we need more. We need much more reading matter, full of interesting information, such as biography, history, natural history, and science can give; but not this only; there should be poetry, romance, adventure, thrilling incident, and stirring action enough to satisfy the needs of the hungry imagination, and the demands of the social side of the child's nature. And this reading matter should be selected from material so pure and true, and, in style, so simple and refined, that there shall be cultivated in the school-room, during these first years, a taste that shall turn with indifference or disgust from that pernicious literature that is now on all hands so abundant and cheap—cheap because its readers are so many.
Mrs. Rickoff, in closing, spoke of literature as a tie that binds a people stronger than laws or customs, and referred to what Carlyle says upon this point in his “Heroes and Hero Worship,” where he speaks of the value of Shakespeare and Dante to their respective nations.
THURSDAY AFTERNOON, July 14th, 1887. The Industrial Department met in the Chicago Opera House, at 2.30 P. M. The President, Professor J. M. Ordway, of Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, opened the meeting with an extemporaneous address, in which he reviewed the progress of manual training, related his own experiences and observations in relation to it, proffered suggestions, and spoke of his hopes for the future of the great educational question of manual training.
All educators, he said, are agreed, to-day, that there should be industrial schools and industrial education. The past score of years has settled this question. Other questions have presented themselves, however, and in casting about for answers we are likely to go astray, unless we keep clearly before us the ultimate purpose of all education, the symmetrical development of the pupil in body and mind. The community cannot train to special trades directly, but should teach the elements of all work.
It is a good thing, of course, for the boys and girls to learn to work, and to become capable of earning a living ; but those who advocate the furtherance of industrial education for the sole end of making money, are not on the right track.
It is not the intention, to-day, of the advocates of industrial education, to teach the pupil any special trade or profession. Such would be entirely out of the sphere of the public expenditure of money. This idea has been a bar to true progress wherever introduced.
Nor has there been satisfactory progress reported where the so-called Russian system has been tried—a system experimented with in Boston. This system teaches the pupil merely to make a part of anything, instead of allowing him to make the whole thing where he could see the defects of any part. It is a systematic attempt to classify the work in the workshop, by separating it from the making of actual objects. But shopwork cannot be classified like the work of literary branches. The Russian system may be the proper one for older classes; young people, however, want to make something whole. They do not analyze enough to understand parts.
Some years ago I visited the European countries, and found that industrial education was as much in its experimental state there as it is with us. In Germany, I visited a number of Gewerbeschulen, expecting to find regular manual-labor schools; but I found very little actual manual work done there. Prussia has a few trade schools, but these generally neglect the education of the man. In Sweden, I found a far better system. The Swedes come nearest to my ideal and the ideas we are trying to work out. In teaching arithmetic, we carry the work along so that pupils can take step after step without much help; the Swedish system does the same thing.
Comenius, during the Thirty Years' War, originated the Swedish idea, by trying to revive the old hand-work carried on during the long winter days. During the last few years, the Germans, the French, and the Hollanders have sent commissions to Sweden to study this system, and the press of Germany reports that they are making great progress in the adoption of the new method.
Industrial education has many friends in this country, but too many know very little about the work. It is becoming popular. Governors and mayors like to mention it in their addresses, and it bids fair to become the prey of politicians, from which may the Lord deliver us !
The question is being debated whether the state has any right to teach industrial education. Many insist that the public schools are already attempting too much, and that some studies should be thrown out rather than new ones introduced. We can answer these objections by claiming that a boy needs a variety of exercises. He needs physical exercise ; and, if left alone, he will get it on the base-ball ground. Now this same time, or a part of it, used in systematic work, will give better results. It is the experience of all who are best informed, that a certain amount of systematic manual work is very helpful to general mental growth.
The question, to-day, is not so much what shall be done, as who should be so trained, and where; and how can this work be introduced best ? In Sweden, they begin with the age of ten years ; in New Orleans, at twelve ; but it is my experience that even at this age, too many cannot use men's tools, and I would never permit the use of boys', or toy tools. Nevertheless, many kinds of work might be done before fourteen, the age at which wood-working tools can be best introduced.
In all of these experiments the girls have been ignored. What can they do and what can we do for them ? Sewing, to mention a line of work which will come up as a subject for debate to-morrow, is a sedentary occupation, and our girls need a different kind of work to develop their physical constitution. IIappily the time is rapidly approaching when women will not be confined to one kind of work. The old work of women has been encroached upon by man in the fields of weaving, spinning, and sewing. We have displaced them in their foriner sphere; and the time is