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Manual Training School.


At the meeting of the second annual Convention of Labor Commissioners, held in St. Louis, last June, Prof. C. M. Woodward, of the Warrensburg University, and in charge of the Manual Training School of that institution, was invited to address the Convention, and to give them the salient points, with reference to his department, to give its objects and purposes, and in as far as he could, the results that had been the fruits of the institution.

He afterwards embodied his remarks in an article for the “ Popular Science Monthly," from which we extract the following:



The object of this paper is to consider directly the fruits of manual training. By manual training I do not mean merely[the training of the hand and arm. If a school should attempt the yery narrow task of teaching only the manual details of a particular trade or trades, it would, as Felix Adler says, violate the rights of the children. It would be doing the very thing I have always protested against. That, or very nearly that, is what is done in the great majority of European trade schools. They have no place in our American system of education.

The word "manual ” must, for the present, be the best word to distinguish that peculiar system of liberal education which recognizes the manual as well as the intellectual. I advocate manual training for all children as an element in general education. I care little what tools are used, or how they are used, so long as proper habits (morals) are formed, and provided the windows of the mind are kept open toward the world of things and forces, physical as well as spiritual.

We do not wish or propose to neglect or underrate literary and scientific culture; we strive to include all the elements in just proportion. When the manual elements which are essential to a liberal education are universally accepted and incorporated into American schools, the word “manual” may very properly be dropped.

I use the word “liberal” in its strict sense of “free.” No educa. tion can be "free", which leaves the child no choice, or which gives a bias against any honorable occupation; which walls up the avenues of approach to any vocation requiring intelligence and skill. A truly liberal education educates equally for all spheres of usefulness; it furnishes the broad foundation on which to build the superstructure of a happy, useful and successful life. To be sure, this claim has been made for the old education, but the claim is not allowed. The new education has the missing features all supplied. The old education was like a two-legged stool, it lacked stability; the new education stands squarely on three legs, and it is steady on the roughest ground.

I shall be better understood if I briefly outline my idea of the features of a manual training school: Boys from fourteen to eighteen years of age are admitted on examination. The grade is about that of a high school. The course covers three years. The programme of every day includes three recitations (mathematics, language and science), one hour of drawing and two hours of shop-work-making a session, exclosive of lunch time, of six hours. The order in which these exercises come varies in different divisions. The shops and shop instructors are generally occupied during school hours. In each subject taught the instruction is progressive and thorough. Mathematics begins with arithmetic and ends with trigonometry. Language may be English literature and composition, history and political economy; or Latin e French. Science, beginning with Huxley's “Introductory Primer, runs through botany, physical geography, elementary physics, mechaics and chemistry. Drawing is free-hand and mechanical, projectio and "model," geometric, technical and ornamental.

The shop-work runs impartially through the range of bench, lathe and pattern work in wood; forging, brazıng and soldering metals bench, lathe, planer, and drill work in iron, brass and steel. The aim is to make every exercise in every branch disciplinary-intellectually and morally fruitful. With the exception of the choice of Latin an French, there is no option in the course.

I claim as the fruits of manual training, when combined, as

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