Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 46.djvu/63

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The course in these high schools is a very full one. A copy of the official curriculum of the Philadelphia schools will serve as a type. It presents the outward aspect of manual training more fully and more concisely than several pages of text could possibly do. Read vertically, the curriculum shows the sequence of studies in any one department. Read horizontally, it shows the current work of any one term. (See pages 54 and 55.)

Perhaps the most notable thing about the curriculum is the amount of work which is not manual training. There are five departments in the school—the humanities, mathematics, science, drawing, and manual training. We have been proclaiming for some years past, and proclaiming from the house-tops, too, I am afraid, that these are essentially high schools, and not in even a remote sense, industrial or trade schools. Yet the discovery that such is in truth the case seems to be made independently by every visitor. The curriculum is a constant source of surprise. What are we doing with German and analytics and chemistry and political economy in a manual training school? it is asked. We are doing with them precisely what other high schools are doing with them—we are trying to make them the instruments of culture. This misapprehension is doubtless our own fault. One would expect that in new schools the nomenclature at least would be accurate. But ours is singularly inaccurate. The name of one department out of five has been chosen to designate the whole, and a branch capable of representation in all grades of school work has been made to arbitrarily stand for a given grade. In this the movement is guilty of a double inaccuracy, and it is scarcely to be wondered at that the outside world has misunderstood both the content and grade of the schools.

To be very explicit, the school day begins at nine and ends at half after two. The interval, exclusive of an intermission of half an hour, is divided into six periods, or "hours," of about fifty minutes each. As there is no school on Saturday or Sunday, this gives a total of thirty hours a week. The curriculum must be realized within these limits. During the junior and intermediate years half the time, or fifteen hours, is devoted to manual work and drawing, and the other half to the academic studies. In the senior year practically the same division holds. It hardly appears so from the curriculum, since the regular manual work, the mechanical construction, covers only six hours; but then it must be remembered that much of the science work, in chemistry and electrical engineering, is done in the laboratory, and should therefore be classed as manual work, while the surveying, being practical field work, properly comes under the same head.

Before considering the manual work in detail, it will be worth while to see what is being done in the other departments. A