Page images
PDF
EPUB

Question. Are there any faculties trained by this course that are not trained by the ordinary course, and results obtained other than by the ordinary method ?

Answer. Well, it would take a long while to point out the distinctions in that respect. Not other faculties, but some are better trained and certain powers are better developed.

MR. MAXWELL: Is this school a public school system at St. Louis ? Answer. It is not.

Question. I would like to ask your opinion whether you think it wise, and if wise, practical, to introduce any part of what you have in your first year in wood work and wood carving into the ordinary public schools, to be taught in connection with what is required for admission to your school! I simply ask for your opinion.

Answer. My opinion is that no part of it could, with any sort of propriety, be introduced into primary schools as we have it. It is alto. gether beyond the intellect as well as the physical capacity of primary students. When you come to grammar schools, any boy in his teens may begin on the manual part of our course of study. Now, I should be very glad, if I had the means, to open a manual training school to every boy in St. Louis who had reached the age of thirteen. I am obliged to put the standard where I do because there are plenty of boys of fourteen and upward who want to come in. We do not admit them until they are fourteen.

Question. Do you consider the kindergarten a part of the manual training course ?

Answer. I approve of the kindergarten.

Question. If these results, as you claim for the shop, are practical only at such a high grade, what are we to do for those below it?

Answer. Well, I have not said that a course below is impractical; but I think it would be very unwise to put work that belongs to a boy of fifteen upon a boy of ten.

Question. As I understand you, this manual training is the only means by which permanently you get the discipline of the observing powers and all the faculties up to that age. Am I right?

Answer. I only claim that this combination is what gives us these results. If I had a manual training school or shop without mathemat. ics or science, why, I should not get those results.

Question. My point is that if these results come from the combination, that result comes from the beginning.

Answer. I say there should be something appropriate to the mental and physical status of the pupils in the lower grades, but in this higher work we want to develop invention and ingenuity.

Question. What shall it be for the lower grades?

Answer. I cannot pretend to answer that. I am not a teacher of grammar schools. Those who are may tell you something perhaps,

1

[ocr errors]

1 This evasion was intended to ward off a discussion on definitions.

and teach you and me. I don't pretend to have solved the whole problem from the kindergarten to the manual training school. I am only certain of the ground I stand on. There should be elements all the way through.

DR. WHITE: That is just the point in our whole method of teachingtraining through the senses, and I don't know a scientific school, high or low, that does not recognize it. Inasmuch as the training of the sight in a state of nature must begin at the cradle, so that the sight of things must become a rule, where does the point begin? Don't you get from the laboratory of science and of history just tho very best possible training for the eye, the judgment, and the band? Do you not get it in the chemical laboratory and outside the workshop, and better outside the workshop, as a means, than you do in it? Is not the physical labora. tory, the chemical laboratory, botany, zoölogy, the study of the world itself, a better means of disciplining all these powers than the artifi. cial methods, than artificial work in the workslop produces? In other words, is not the workshop the very lowest form of that very disciplino. you have commended! I can not see for my life how any true system of

? teaching can fail in this, and have to be fortified and supplemented by bringing in the training of the children in the use of tools, in the maxim of the arts and trades, when all nature is at hand, when all the sources of observation and training and study are before us. I believe that the study of an insect has in it more elements of training than the fitting of the joint.

MR. SHELDON: Is there a period in the training or the life of a boy when he reaches a step where his budding manhood opens the door into the workshop of nature (unaided by any of the suggestions you have made in the line of manual training), and begins with drawing?

Answer. I indorse as highly as any one can, training in natural his. tory, in business, in chemistry. We have in our manual training school a physical laboratory, where every student manufactures his own appa

tus, and they are the people to day that are the most successful. I make no direct comparison with that work. I donot claim that any school should omit that. I think that nature should always be studied. I believe that many of these very things I claim manual training helps to do, science helps to do; and I believe the more we do of that work the better. The doctor calls all this manual training work artificial work; that it is the lowest kind of work. They had just as much nature two thousand years ago as to-day, but not our civilization. What has brought about our civilization but these very artificial elements? Man has come in and introduced something new, has acquired a mastery over nature; and now I say it is not a low or an unworthy motive that we should learn something about the great methods of which our civil. ization has been the fruit.

DR. WHITE: I did not use any such expression of thoug!it in that sense. I said that the training of the shop is the lowest forın of train. ing in observation, in judgment, and logic. I am speaking now of another thing entirely from the shop itself. The workshop of America and of the world is a thing of great dignity and blessing, and I never can speak derogatorily of the workshop in any way. I am now speak. ing of the training of the mind, that it does not present as high a form of training as the other forms of training; and I do not wish to be put in that position at all,

Auswer. Taking it in that phase, there are certain manifestations of force in cause and effect. The study of methods, of means to ends, I thought was made so plain, that it seems to me they furnish an admirable training for some things which neither physics nor chemistry gives.

DR. HANCOCK: Let us hear what they are. You have asserted things which you think have grown out of your experience. What things do you learn by the use of the hammer that are superior to the things in nature around us ?

Answer. In science, natural history for instance, we find things ready made to our hands. And the specimens we analyze are often exceed. ingly complex. We take an insect and we have to pull him to pieces, and we are not always sure that we analyze his structure correctly. It is a difficult problem to explain the rationale of his organization. In the shop, however, the synthetic process is introduced. We build up on clearly defined plans. By manifestations of force and laws of simple mechanical methods we go on from one step to another. The reason is so closely connected with that which illustrates it, that I don't think there is anything else so available.

Question. The process in the workshop is so simple, and the relation of cause to effect so simple and obvious, that the exercise of the mind is at the very lowest point?

Answer. All elementary work should be simple; and in this primary work we have the very first letter of those great activities that are going to enable our students to understand what is going on in the outside world. I believe that our pupils are to be trained for life. I believe they are to acquire two things at the same time. While they gain manly discipline, they are at the same time to be brought into con. nection with the activities that surround us, to sympathize with our industrial interests; not that they shall necessarily earn their living there, butenter sympathetically into them.

Question. Is the mind of the child in a suspended state until it reaches the age of fourteen? Now, the child has been looking round upon the world up to fourteen years, and reasoning. Now you say these simple things are to be learned at fourteen years of age. In other words, you introduce your artificial system after the mind has been partially developed by the application of a higher principle.

Answer. Shouldn't you re-enforce that by the study of mechanical principles and methods? They contain something that these do not contain, You get no training in that conscious power of creation in studying nature.

Question. The discussion for the last few minutes has raised this general point in my mind, and I would like to see what Professor Woodward would say on it. Man has come to find out nature pretty well in these days. I ask, but does this finding out, this knowledge, aid or give strength and beauty in our literature, in our painting, in our story, in our music and architecture? Is not art to-day in our country, because of this acquaintance with nature, come to be strongly realistic, and is all this an unqualified gain except from the stand-point of utility ?

Answer. I am not certain that I fully catch the force of the question, but it seems to me that this cultivation of the intelligence, this recognition of rational process, cannot but help to improve all these matters you have mentioned--both our art and our literature-in all its forms. It seems to me that clearness of thought always reacts upon artistic nature.

Question. As to the results which you claim you obtained in your school in the development of the mind and morals, and the physical development, did you examine this question? In the ordinary high school there are six or seven or eight studies pursued during the day. In your school the boy has but three. I want to ask if that does not account for his advance in his studies. My observation has led me to believe that after taking out three or four studies in our high school we accomplish the same result.

Answer. That seems a very reasonable thing to do if I wanted to criticise other schools. They aim to do too much. I am very sure there is a good deal in that argument, and that opens the door so that these ele-, ments can be brought in. Progress in any direction is not dependent upon the number of studies and the length of recitations; it is dependent upon the amount of close and thoughtful attention that can be given.

PROFESSOR LEIPZIGER: I want to ask the doctor what proportion of those entering the school graduate?

Answer. I think 50 per cent.
Question. Is it larger than from other schools?
Answer. I think it is.

PROFESSOR LEIPZIGER: Ladies and Gentlemen—The theme is so in. teresting and the hour is so late that I hope you will give me your atten. tion for a few moments. I will try to explain to you briefly what we do, and will try to answer Dr. White's question. The influence of manual training will be to bring out the teaching of science properly. If sciences were taught properly in our schools the criticisms that are being made against them would not have been made.

I myself am a graduate of the public schools of this country, and I remember when I was taught natural philosophy I learned it almost exclusively from the text-book. They taught science to children of seven years of age. Do not be taught what the result is, but tell what it is. They train the eye and the hand and the brain, and the whole

boy' and the whole girl is put in school because the object of this education is not for objects, but for boys and girls.

Now in this artificial structure which we have raised, the advantage, it seems to me, psychologically considered, over the one of nature, although both have their advantages, is that when you create a geometrical form you train that most valuable faculty, accuracy. Accuracy leads to truthfulness, and when once you get truthfulness you cultivate the moral faculty and produce truthful men and women. It seems to me that in the early stages the power of drawing has not been put in its proper place in the curriculum. Drawing trains the eye. If the child is taughi to draw at the very early age of seven years from the object and not from sketches, it is taught to put down on paper not what the teacher says it should see, but what it does see. Then you give a training to the eye, heart, hand, and moral faculties. Now it has been my good fortune to deal with the most difficult set of boys. In the school over which I have the honor to preside I take Hebrew boys. Hebrew boys are not descended from a race that are generally considered skilled mechanics, and we keep them there seven hours a day, and the boys enter at the age of twelve, not at the age of fourteen or fifteen. They do not pass a very searching examination because I bave found out in my experience that many a boy who fails in analyzing a sentence from Milton's Paradise Lost can carve and train the same faculty by carving or by seeing as I did through the study of Milton's Paradise Lost. With these boys of twelve we give every day seven hours' training. We teach them history, not in a catechetical method; we teach them general history; we teach them physics by the laboratory method. My theory is this, when a man leaves school he makes a composition which has the power to express his thoughts. Our boys after learning the ordinary manipulations that enter into the use of tools are obliged to make one finished product, something which has value, and will train them to understand that they must be accurate because the thing they are going to produce is going to be useful. My experience with these boys is that I have never seen boys so earnest, so studious, and so desirous of remaining in school. Knowing the factors that enter into and produce the ordinary boy, I subtract the one from the other and attribute the superiority of these that we have to manual training.

The kindergarten is the precursor of the manual training school. Please bear in mind that when we say manual training” we do not mean mechanics. If it is history, let the pupil illustrate while he is studying history, by a map. If it is geography, let him use his knowl. edge of light clay models. Then send him to a high training school. Prit the hand and the eye in the school and train them both. It is your duty to the child.

Dr. E. E. WHITE: It seems to me very desirable in this discussion to settle the question of agreements and disagreements; to determine just how far we agree respecting the use of the hand in the training of

« EelmineJätka »