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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 72.djvu/549

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545
EDUCATIONAL ADVANCE

the production of goods requires the cooperation of a constantly increasing number of workers. Each one forms but a link in a great industrial chain, and consequently sees only a minute part of the entire operation necessary to make the completed article. Machine production aims at making a uniform and interchangeable product. The workman is unfortunately bound down to a rigid and monotonous routine; he becomes in time almost automatic in his movements. He struggles blindly on, working and producing, without recognizing the end in view, without feeling that he, himself, is an integral and necessary factor in the formation and operation of a great industrial machine or organism.

The school must aim to demonstrate the social necessity of each worker's task, and to give a clue to the great, intricate industrial labyrinth. The problem of the relation of labor to capital can not be solved until the work and function of all factors of production are clearly understood by a majority of the people; when such a condition obtains, the question of the proper distribution of wealth will be greatly simplified. The school attempts to meet the new economic condition by enlarging its curriculum; it now aims at more than mere mental training and discipline. Manual training, nature study, kindergartens, athletics, physical training, commerical training, agriculture, domestic science, cooking, sewing, drawing, modeling, painting and music are now incorporated into the course of study. These added features are merely tentative attempts to give training which was formerly provided outside the school, but which can not be so provided under present conditions. Much of this work has been added in a haphazard manner, in order to fill a vaguely defined need, without proper arrangement or agreement with the older portion of the school curriculum. These additions, the direct result in many instances of a vigorous popular demand, have increased the importance of the school, and have made it a more potent factor in the industrial, economic, and social progress of this country. Nevertheless, after this enlargement and enrichment of the course, there still remain many gaps in our educational system which are yet to be bridged over.

The order in which these additions have taken place is fairly well defined. As scientific discoveries and the practical applications of steam and electricity multiplied, our industrial methods underwent an almost complete transformation. A universal need for scientific and technical knowledge was felt. The first notable change from the time honored curriculum was made in response to this demand. The physical sciences, physics and chemistry, were advanced to a position of equal rank with mathematics and language. Next appeared a demand for the kindergarten, manual training, drawing and domestic science. This demand is the result of a conscious or unconscious recognition