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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 36.djvu/804

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Almost all the multitudinous causes which concurred in bringing about the French Revolution are happily absent in this country; and I have not the slightest fear that the preaching of any amount of political fallacy will involve us in evils of the magnitude of those which accompanied that great drama. But, seeing how great and manifold are the inevitable sufferings of men; how profoundly important it is that all should give their best will and devote their best intelligence to the alleviation of those sufferings which can be diminished, by seeking out, and, as far as lies within human power, removing their causes; it is surely lamentable that they should be drawn away by speculative chimeras from the attempt to find that narrow path which for nations, as for individual men, is the sole road to permanent well-being.—Nineteenth Century.

 

SLOYD: ITS AIM, METHOD, AND RESULTS.
By FRIMANN B. ARNGRIMSSON.

SLÖJD, anglicized into sloyd, is a Swedish word, meaning dexterity or manual skill (compare old Norse sldegd, cunning, and English sly). Of late, however, the word has been restricted to denote a system of manual training.

This system came originally from Finland, but was adopted some fifteen years ago in Sweden, and there perfected in its methods. The Finnish teacher Zygnaus is its originator; but to Messrs. A. Abrahamson and O. Salomon,[1] of Nääs, Sweden, is due the honor of having adapted it to the use of schools and made it generally known. For fifteen years their institute has been growing in importance, and in that time over one thousand teachers have been trained there and sent out to different parts of the world. Hence this method has often been called the Nääs system of manual training.

The aim of the system is not to teach the pupil a trade, but to educate him. Its primary object is to insure a healthy physical and mental development, while its secondary object is to secure general dexterity useful in every vocation.

The method is based upon the principle that a harmonious mental development is best secured through a harmonious physical development, promoted by exercise. It proceeds first to call the physical activities into play, and by stimulating, strengthening, and training these, it seeks to awaken, develop, and cultivate the powers of the mind. Taking advantage of the pupil's

  1. For more detailed accounts of the Sloyd system, consult the writings of Dr. O. Salomon, Miss C. Lord, Prof. W. T. Harris, P. M. Sluys, etc.