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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/223

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de Saint Nicolas in regarding the aim of producing good workmen as higher than that of establishing a self-supporting school. The Institution de Saint Nicolas is, thanks to the self-denying labors of the Frères, self-supporting so far as the ateliers are concerned, though the pupils pay for their board and lodging. The École Professionelle of MM. Chaix et Cie., which is but one example of a considerable number of similar establishments, is looked upon as one of the main causes of the prosperity of the concern. To establish such a school in any large business establishment requires little additional expense beyond the salaries of teachers. The École Communale is a most valuable experiment, and shows with what slender outlay some useful instruction in manual labor can be added to the resources of an elementary school. The École Municipale, with its kindred schools at Lyons and Havre, enable us to realize what an apprenticeship school may become if taken in hand by a rich and powerful municipality.

Turning once more to the conditions which obtain in our own country, the thought naturally occurs. Which of these very different types of school will best suit the requirements at home? On which line shall we proceed in our attempt to adjust to the altered social and industrial conditions of our time the apprenticeship of the past? Probably no one of these varied types will meet the thousand possible cases which may present themselves in the working out of the problem. Possibly there is room for all these types of apprenticeship school, side by side, or room even for new and untried types. One may adapt itself better to one locality or industry, another to another. Our business is not to copy, but to create and to develop for ourselves that which meets our own case. Much as will depend upon the character of each individual industry, all experience shows that there are other factors in the problem of scarcely less importance, and that much also depends upon the individual proclivities of the director of the school, the industrial enterprise of large firms, the far-sightedness of wealthy corporations. In France many of the schools have been initiated by the municipal or communal authorities. In Germany it is the town or the state that has made the venture. Will our town councils or our school boards ever think the experiment worth a trial, or is centralization too fierce and too frigid to countenance the attempt? All that is most valuable in the results obtained in the majority of the typical cases afforded by the Parisian schools can also be attained by private local enterprise, if guided wisely and well. Private local enterprise may surely hope for a success at least as great at home as that which it has already won across the Channel. And obviously the various industrial establishments know best the strength and weakness of their own resources. If a guiding and organizing central institution is needed, and it probably will be, it will be forthcoming so soon as there is work for it to do. But no central organization or institution can be expected to do the work which, at the outset, the local in-