Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/464

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complete their entire course, for three years. It is not less literary and not less scientific than the best of our high schools, but it is, we believe, far more practical in preparing boys to meet the real problems of life. The customary high-school course covers four years, but, as only a small percentage of students remain to graduate, it is thought wiser in the manual training school to limit the course to three years, and to offer a fourth year of postgraduate study in any department where a student has shown special aptitude. One third of the school day is devoted to manual work, and the rest to science and literature. It seems impossible, however, to consider such a school except as a whole. It refuses to be divided into sections. Representing, as it does, a purpose rather than a method, all departments are bound together by a common aim, and are subservient to that. They are members one of another, and the head no longer says to the hand, or, for that matter, to any other member of the anatomy, "I have no need of thee." We venture to hope that the impulse whose spirit I have been attempting to describe is only at the beginning of its work. When the new aspirations in education, which are now called manual training, come to a fuller development, they will concern themselves not with the hand only, but with the entire body and the entire being. We even hope that at some time in the future parents and teachers will feel it their duty to acquaint themselves with the condition and needs of the little bodies of which they are now the ignorant guardians, and will attempt by definite means to make them more fitting vestments for the human soul. The time has come, it seems to me, when evolution should be a conscious process, and man should work in happy sympathy with the purposes of that power which makes for righteousness.

Although the most distinctive feature in these schools is naturally the manual department, its success from the educational standpoint can only be judged by observing its effect upon the rest of the school work. It is true that the boy does not in all cases understand the full significance of his work, but he is, nevertheless, gaining unconsciously that degree of patience, of perseverance, and of judgment needed to accomplish his task. The next thing he undertakes demands these qualities in fuller measure, and so the work of character-building goes on simultaneously with the production of handiwork. The boy sees, perhaps, only these finished pieces of work as his result. We who are looking on see something vastly more important. We see the sturdier virtues—self-reliance, manliness, and helpfulness—developing to wholesome proportions. The boy takes pride in his work, and we take pride in him.

The constructive faculty in children and boys is very strong.