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pertinent and valuable. But it has become evident that the content of technical training which actually functions in many vocations is much less than has been assumed. The inherited traditions of academic education have caused many people to believe that all of the phases or parts under a given inclusive subject should be studied, notwithstanding the absurdities to which this contention leads. For example, botany and chemistry as separate abstract subjects are sometimes taught in agricultural schools; prospective mechanics are induced to study algebra and geometry; and a prospective house carpenter is urged to take a general course in mechanical drawing, although, in each case, the successful workers in these fields will employ only very limited and special phases of these subjects. It is obvious that progress in the development of programs of vocational education will involve a clear differentiation of the technical training needed in each vocation. Experience will probably show that socalled "foundations" in general knowledge of abstract scientific, or mathematical, or art subjects, is often relatively valueless for vocational purposes.
(b) In some discussions of vocational education the related technical studies are sometimes called the "academic subjects." This usage is confusing, and should be discouraged. The word "academic" should be restricted to the field of general, or liberal, education.
7 (Definition). A technical school is a school designed to give technical knowledge only, as that is involved in some recognized vocation or group of related vocations.
The following are examples: Schools of law and medicine originally taught only the more theoretical phases of these professions. Only in the more recent stages of their development are they introducing practical work as a means of instruction. Schools of engineering originally taught chiefly engineering mathematics, drawing, science, etc., giving little or no practical work. Some schools of technology still confine themselves to this; but in many others shopwork, summer-camp work, compulsory practical service in mines, etc., are now added, to give necessary practical experience. The earlier agricultural colleges and schools taught primarily the mathematics and sciences supposed to constitute a basis of knowledge for agricultural practice. Some commercial schools offer only informational studies regarding commercial operations. Technical high schools teach chiefly certain phases of applied science and art, illustrated with laboratory practice. Much of the home making taught in contemporary high and other schools, under such heads as "household arts," "domestic economy," "household economics," etc., is primarily an attempt to give technical knowledge only of the processes involved in home making.
(a) Technical education had its origin and took its shape primarily through the attempts of society to supplement apprenticeship as a means of vocational training, the apprenticeship giving practical experience, but not related technical knowledge. Evening vocational schools, as well as day schools, came into existence, first, to give related technical knowledge.
The first medical colleges, as well as other professional schools, in many instances assumed that the student had already served an apprenticeship as an assistant to a practitioner.
(b) The value of technical education when administered without connection with practical training must be considered solely with reference to its actual efficiency in contributing to a complete scheme of vocational education. In some of the higher fields, as engineering, technical knowledge alone may constitute a very valuable foundation, whereas, in many of the trades, it may, if unaccompanied by practical experience, be almost valueless. The entire matter is one requiring further scientific study.
(c) Secondary technical schools as now found in the industrial, agricultural, and commercial fields can only occasionally be called "vocational schools" in the sense used here, because the instruction in them is not adjusted to the requirements of a distinctive vocation. Commonly their teaching is of a general nature, unrelated to the actual requirements of callings as now organized. It is probable that their teaching does not generally "function" in direct vocational power. In a few cases the effects of the training given may be vocational, as in the case of draftsmen and analytical chemists.
(d) Technical schools sometimes offer studies the actual value of which may consist in the establishing ideals and appreciations. A normal school, for example, may offer the history of education, which is not properly a technical study, but the study of which may give rise to ideals of teaching. Such a study properly belongs under the head of "General vocational studies."
8 (Definition). General vocational studies are those which, when considered with reference to a particular calling, seem to lead to the development of ideals, general interest, and social insight, but without contributing to specific forms of useful knowledge, skill, or power.
The following are examples: The physician may study the history of medicine or the hospital practices of the past, or he may read the biographies of such men as Jenner, Pasteur, and Lister. The engineer may study economics and the rise of modern industry, labor problems, and geological science. The teacher may study general psychology and the history of education. The prospective machinist may study the general literature of his subject, the history of the evolution of steel working, industrial hygiene as related to his call
ing, etc. The prospective clerk may study commercial geography, the history of exchange, and modern banking problems. The prospective home maker may read of the homes of the past or of the present in other lands, etc.
(a) It is obvious that in and about any particular calling a large amount of literature may be gathered which, properly used, should do much to promote ideals, to give insight into the social relationships of the calling, to develop an appreciation of its hygienic and psychological aspects, and to lay the foundations for an appreciation of the possibilities of advancement for the worker.
(b) The actual value of so-called general vocational education is still open to question. It is exceedingly easy to organize and administer various forms of "general vocational" education in accordance with academic traditions. It may lead to "industrial intelligence," a quality which, if it exists as ordinarily conceived, is much in demand. It is probable that the actual value of general vocational education is very dependent upon the degree to which it has been preceded by foundations in practical experience and definitely related technical studies.
IV. PEDAGOGICAL DEVICES IN VOCATIONAL EDUCATION.
Vocational education requires the development of new and sometimes unfamiliar pedagogical devices, most important of which, for the present, are those signified by the terms "projects," "short unit course," "correlation of technical and practical training," and "productive work."
1 (Definition). A project in vocational education is a definite unit of instruction which combines practical or manipulative achievement with a definite enhancement of power to apply related technical knowledge.
(a) Practical work alone may correspond to what is known as a "job" in many lines of industry. A project is an "educational" job; it has educational value, and it ought to have economic value.
(b) Growth in capacity to apply related technical knowledge may involve application of general knowledge already obtained, as where a student in carpentry learns to make further use of his previously acquired knowledge of board measure; or it may involve the acquisition of new technical knowledge, as that is immediately related to the job in hand.
(c) A complete project usually involves the following steps on the part of the learner:
1. Purposeful consideration of the conditions to be met in undertaking the job.
2. Planning how to meet these conditions, in terms of the materials of the trade, trade operations, suitable tools, etc.
3. Preparation of needed preliminary working aids in conventional forms, such as drawings, working plans, etc.
4. The performing of such calculations as may be necessary, including figuring cost, ascertaining amount of stock to be used. and other conditions.
5. The execution of the job as planned, and in accordance with specifications.
6. The submission of a proper report of the job.
7. In some cases, a disposal of the project on an economic basis. The following are examples of projects: An engineering student employed to lay out a grade as required by a railroad; a hospital interne given charge of a case; a teacher taking full charge of a group of pupils; an agricultural student undertaking to raise an acre of corn, and to market the same, or to take charge of two dairy cows for a year, including the proper care, feeding, and milking of these; an industrial-school student undertaking a definite job of work as this is carried on in commercial enterprises; a pupil in a trade school making a dress, or a group of pupils in a school of carpentry erecting a cottage; a student in homemaking preparing the family breakfast for a month, etc.
(d) Projects may be subdivided into major and minor projects, the latter being subdivisions of major projects.
For example, a boy in an agricultural school might undertake to raise an acre of potatoes, this being his major project. For practical purposes, he would subdivide this into a series of minor projects, each one a unit in itself. A class of pupils in an industrial school might undertake the construction of a machine, each boy having some one piece of work assigned to him as his minor project, or even some one operation. A girl undertaking the preparation of the family breakfasts for a month might make her minor project temporarily the study and practice required in preparation of one dish.
(e) It is obvious that projects may be individual or cooperative. It is conceivable that in industrial schools, large cooperative projects might be undertaken by a class, with appropriate subdivisions, each subdivision forming a project by itself.
(f) The project has no definite counterpart in academic or general education. Much of the work in general education was formerly organized on the "lesson unit" basis. In such subjects as mathematics, history, geography, English, it is now organized on the "topic unit" basis. The study of a classic selection in a foreign language, and the execution of a manual training enterprise provide the nearest analogies.
(g) The alternative to the project organization of vocational work is, on the one hand, the job as the unit of practical work, and,
on the other, the logically organized course of instruction in technical subjects.
(h) In many lines of vocational education, satisfactory series of projects have not yet been developed. Obviously, the development of a project system of organizing vocational work presents very great difficulties, and especially to persons prepossessed in favor of the logical organization of technical subject matter.
2 (Definition). The short unit course is an intensive form of training and instruction which is intended to meet, in a limited number of lessons, a specific need of a particular group of learners. Each unit deals with some one teachable phase of a trade or other occupation, and is complete in itself.
The short unit course has thus far been worked out primarily only in the fields of agricultural, industrial, and homemaking education. In agriculture, short unit courses are found in connection with extension work, where, in the course of a week or a few weeks definite instruction is given in both the manipulative and technical phases of some one specific field of practice in agriculture or animal husbandry. In evening industrial schools the short unit course is designed to give quite specific instruction, either of a manipulative or technical character, in some one phase of the trade or occupation being followed, or to be followed. It is assumed that the short unit course, when technical in character, will be related to the practical work already being followed by the learner.
The following are examples: Five lessons in the use of spraying; 5 lessons in orchard cropping; 5 lessons in farm accounting; 5 lessons in grafting; 10 lessons in kiln drying of lumber; 10 lessons in the use of the buzz planer; 5 lessons in the use of the sliding rule; 6 lessons in thread cutting; 20 lessons in cotton sampling; 5 lessons in the making of a shirt waist.
3 (Definition). The correlation of technical studies and practical work includes such pedagogical devices as involve the integral relation of technical studies with jobs of practical work as found in the project method of organization.
The following are examples: Mechanical drawing may be taught as a general subject, apart from its particular application to the work of the machinist, house carpenter, or dressmaker (probably general, or general technical, rather than vocational); or, as opposed to this, it may be taught in intimate correlation with the practical work of training for various specific vocations. A pupil studying house carpentry may acquire power in mechanical drawing through exercises closely adjusted to the practical work which he is taking from day to day. Different forms of drawing would therefore be required for the machinist, the plumber, the electrician, etc.