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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 72.djvu/550

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546
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

of the undesirability of a wide separation of hand work from head work, aided by the call of manufacturers for young men possessing trained hands and eyes. The need of such training was not urgent previous to the wide-spread development of the factory system. Treading on the heels of the manual-training movements came physical training, night and vacation schools, training for citizenship, nature study, school gardening, the study of agricultural science, and the special school for the truant and the "incorrigible." Not all of these additions to the work of the school are to be found in any one system, but each has been somewhere recognized as a desirable feature of the educational program. In general, it may be affirmed, that as a people pass from a semi-primitive agricultural stage with isolated, nearly independent families, to the more complex industrial life involving mutual interdependence and specialization of occupation; the importance of the education gained within the school increases relatively to that acquired outside.

What is the significance of these changes to society? It seems indisputable that the importance of the school relative to that of the home in the education of youth, has increased and is still increasing. This fact grows naturally out of the changed functions and environment of the home of the present as compared with that of immediately preceding generations. Home training is highly individualistic; school training is not. The state educates the young in order to advance the welfare of society, in order to form the good citizen—the efficient producer and consumer. The desired result is the elevation of the standard of living of society—a social benefit. The mass can, however, be elevated only by acting upon each individual composing it. The school becomes society's agent for the promotion of its collective welfare; its purpose is chiefly directive. As society is recruited from the young, it is necessary that the incoming generations be worthy successors of the outgoing. The attention should be fixed upon those institutions which train the growing child, and not so much upon those corrective and repressive institutions which are needed because the early training and direction of their inmates were not what they should have been. Too much money is spent upon the diseased tree, but not enough on the growing twig. The functions of the school should include the intellectual, physical, industrial and moral training of the young, and of the older persons as well; the greater the efficiency and effectiveness of the school, the less the need for corrective and repressive institutions.[1]

The cure for many industrial and social ills is to be found in the proper use of increased leisure which improved industrial methods make possible, and which the modern ideal of democracy proclaims to

  1. See article by the writer in Education, October, 1903.