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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/460

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438
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

cerns itself more with the production of artisans than of men. This view of manual training makes the school very much akin to the trade and industrial schools, and would end by converting it into a shop. The school is heralded as the legitimate successor of the apprentice system, and as an institution whose highest end is to restore the advantages lost in the abolition of that system. According to this theory, the ability to do becomes the standard of success for the school, and the chief object of its ambition, the production of well-executed handiwork. The results of the year's work would be summed up in an exhibition of things.

The other theory also sees in the school an establishment for the fabrication of a definite product, but it is a product too subtile to find its complete expression in wood or iron or clay. It is believed that the specific purpose of education is to cultivate character, to induce sound thinking, and to make a necessity of scientific inquiry. Its highest end is ethical. Of great value, but secondary to its supreme purpose, are the skill and the information which would be the natural result of such cultivation. The aim of the school is to prepare for completeness of life. The central thought in its entire organization is always the boy himself, and everything that is done, every study that is taken up, every influence that is brought to bear, has for its sole purpose his development. In this view of its proper function, the school is a purely educational institution, and is industrial only in making use of the tools of industry to accomplish its chosen purpose. The manual work, like the work in science and literature, is simply a means of development. It bears the same relation to the process of education that a railway train does to travel. One may select slower modes of approach if he choose, but, in his delight at the rapid transit, he must not confuse the journey with the end for which the journey is made. Those who hold this view of manual training, watch with sincere regret any encroachment of that spirit which places the inanimate product, however ingenious and beautiful it may be, above the human product. The object of manual training, they believe, is the production of thoughtful, self-reliant, honest men.

It will be seen that these two theories are antagonistic. The first, in its anxiety for material results, is somewhat impatient at the slower unfolding of the spiritual handiwork. The second, while it admits all the claims of the first, objects to their limited scope—they do not go far enough. It believes thoroughly in men and women who can do something, but it believes also, and more thoroughly, in men and women who are something. Both theorists sow in all sincerity, and reap as they have sown. One harvest is gathered before the other. The seed matures early, and blossoms and bears fruit in objects of beauty and utility. There