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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/644

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

is the plea of mine for an education to things; for a training of the hand and eye as well as the intellect to lives of useful employment! Yet half the colleges in the United States ape the English universities, and half the high-schools ape the colleges.

The result of all this has been a certain false æstheticism which turns away from the materialism of our new notions. The highly cultivated would soar away into purer air and nobler spheres. There is a feeling more or less clearly expressed that the material world is gross and unrefined; that soiled hands are a reproach; that the garb of a mechanic necessarily clothes a person of sordid tastes and low desires. As Dr. Eliot, of St. Louis, has expressed it, "It is thought to be a sad descent for a university whose aim should be the highest education to stoop to the recognition of handcrafts of the mechanic."

Manual Education.—Perhaps no better general statement of the new creed has been made than that of Stephen A. Walker, in a speech already referred to. He put it for us thus: "Education of the hand and the eye should go along, pari passu, with the education of the mind. We believe in making good workmen as well as in making educated intellects. We think these are things that can be done at the same time, and our proposition is that they can be done better together than separately."

As I said in the beginning, this proposition is meeting with general favor among the people. I have pointed out the sources of some of the opposition; it remains for me to touch upon the two objections which I surmise are about the only ones in the minds of my hearers. You ask first, "Is your proposition practicable?" You doubt the feasibility of uniting in a real school such incongruous elements as arithmetic and carpentry, history and blacksmithing. You fear either that the shop-work will demoralize the school, or that the shop-work will never rise above the dignity of a mere pastime.

Now, I claim not only that what I propose can be done, but that it has been done in St. Louis, and perhaps elsewhere as well.

Organization of a Manual Training-School.—Professor Thompson, in his valuable essay on the apprenticeship schools of France, classifies French technical schools under four heads:

1. The school in the workshop or factory.
2. The workshop in the school.
3. The school and the shop side by side.
4. The half-time schools.

To the first class the school is subordinate to the factory; the boys or girls learn a particular trade, and everything in the school as well as in the shop is designed to meet the wants of those expecting to enter the particular trade. For obvious reasons there can be no general adoption of such a combination in the country. Professor Thompson gives his verdict in favor of the school and the shop side by side, though there is much to recommend the second plan.