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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/767

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struction in the special branches of such applied science and art, as technical education proper, (3) Instruction of teachers in both these branches. (4) Capacity-catching machinery.

A great deal has already been done in each of these directions, but much remains to be done. If elementary education is amended in the way that has been suggested, I think that the school-boards will have quite as much on their hands as they are capable of doing well. The influences under which the members of these bodies are elected do not tend to secure fitness for dealing with scientific or technical education; and it is the less necessary to burden them with an uncongenial task as there are other organizations, not only much better fitted to do the work, but already actually doing it.

In the matter of preliminary scientific education, the chief of these is the Science and Art Department, which has done more during the last quarter of a century for the teaching of elementary science among the masses of the people than any organization which exists either in this or in any other country. It has become veritably a people's university, so far as physical science is concerned. At the foundation of our old universities they were freely open to the poorest, but the poorest must come to them. In the last quarter of a century, the Science and Art Department, by means of its classes spread all over the country and open to all, has conveyed instruction to the poorest. The University Extension movement shows that our older learned corporations have discovered the propriety of following suit.

Technical education, in the strict sense, has become a necessity for two reasons. The old apprenticeship system has broken down, partly by reason of the changed conditions of industrial life, and partly because trades have ceased to be "crafts," the traditional secrets whereof the master handed down to his apprentices. Invention is constantly changing the face of our industries, so that "use and wont," "rule of thumb," and the like, are gradually losing their importance, while that knowledge of principles which alone can deal successfully with changed conditions is becoming more and more valuable. Socially, the "master" of four or five apprentices is disappearing in favor of the "employer" of forty, or four hundred, or four thousand "hands," and the odds and ends of technical knowledge, formerly picked up in a shop, are not, and can not be, supplied in the factory. The instruction formerly given by the master must therefore be more than replaced by the systematic teaching of the technical school.

Institutions of this kind on varying scales of magnitude and completeness, from the splendid edifice set up by the City and Guilds Institute to the smallest local technical school, to say nothing of classes, such as those in technology instituted by the Society of Arts (subsequently taken over by the City Guilds), have been established in various parts of the country, and the movement in favor of their increase and multiplication is rapidly growing in breadth and intensity. But