Page images

one of the most effective means for creating interest in the subject and for bringing about on the part of the public an understanding of the aims and purposes involved to an extent which will seem favorable to public action and support.

2. By meetings to create local interest.—(a) Holding of conferences at which speakers from within the city or town may tell of needs as they see them, or speakers from out of town may be secured to tell of what other places have found out and done.

Such conferences may be in the form of luncheon or dinner meetings or they may be of greater length, at which specific questions may be taken up and discussed.

At each conference on the subject the use of lantern slides and moving pictures will serve as effective means for impressing those present with the need and possibilities of vocational education.

Slides are obtainable from many State and city departments of education and a number of reels showing vocational institutions have been made by the National Manufacturers' Association; the United Shoe Machinery Co., of Beverly, Mass.; and the National Cash Register Co., of Dayton, Ohio.

(b) Holding of exhibitions.-Conferences may often be combined with the holding of exhibitions of school work done either locally or abroad, although the combining of the two is not essential. Care should be taken that any such exhibitions be made with due regard to satisfactory display and in a form of presentation which will attract interest and tell a story which can easily be appreciated. They should be given in places easy of access or in places where the people whom it is desired to reach are likely to congregate.

It has been found to be of little value to present exhibitions that do not carry the story to people by an appeal through motion and color, as well as through the intellect.

At an industrial and commercial exposition held under the auspices of the Boston Chamber of Commerce the education committee of that chamber secured the cooperation of public and private school authorities, in planning and carrying out an unusual educational section to that exposition.

In the idea of its presentation and the scope of the work shown, the exhibit was unique, not only in being a fairly comprehensive showing of the opportunities for industrial education in Massachusetts, but especially in its presentation of these opportunities by types instead of by individual schools, the separate institutions subordinating themselves for the sake of giving to the public a clear impression of the chief methods of meeting this important problem.

In connection with this same exhibit there was issued a joint circular, presenting in a brief form the opportunities for vocational education available in Boston and vicinity; and as a further valuable result, there was brought about a joint movement among those in charge of such education to prevent unnecessary duplication and to secure the benefits which come from cooperation.

Other notable examples of the effectiveness of such exhibitions were those of the education department of the Philippine Islands and of

the Massachusetts exhibition of vocational education at the Panama Pacific Industrial Exhibition. Exhibitions offer an opportunity to *distribute in an effective way literature dealing with the subject.

Publications that will be helpful in the preparation of publicity material are those issued by (a) National Society for the Promotion of Industrial Education; (b) Russell Sage Foundation; (c) Tradeunions; (d) Manufacturers' organizations; (e) State education departments; (f) The United States Government.

3. Central committee.-After a favorable public interest in the local situation has been awakened, the community itself will see the need of the appointment of a central committee. As previously indicated, this committee should represent a variety of interests. It should be democratic both in its composition and in its action. It should organize in the usual way, with a chairman and secretary, and possibly with subcommittees to look after specific details. Among its first duties will be a continuance of a policy of publicity in regard to community needs, community possibilities, and community limitations. A partial recognition of these needs, possibilities, and limitations should soon result in a desire on the part of the committee for a more detailed study of the local situation than can be made by any body of busy men engaged in their own occupations. This will pave the way for the appointment of a person to organize and carry forward a detailed study or survey of the exact local conditions. It will become evident that no preconceived notions of education nor prearranged plan for such a survey will actually meet the local necessity.

4. Preliminary considerations.—Previous to the selection of a person to carry forward such a survey certain pertinent facts should be borne in mind by the committee:

1. That whatever differences there are between the members of the group as individuals, they all must unite upon the one idea of getting at the actual facts.

2. That neither partiality nor prejudice should sway the committee to draw conclusions or make deductions until all of the facts bearing upon the situation have been presented and analyzed. 3. That local pressure and local bias for any particular plan shall be withstood, except in the light and bearing which such expressed opinion may have upon the situation, when a full knowledge of the facts has been ascertained.

4. That above all a spirit of openmindedness, cooperation, and good will shall pervade the committee in its work. With such a series of understandings carefully organized and agreed upon the committee should proceed to the selection of a competent surveyor.

5. Surveyor.-It is at once recognized that it will not be possible for every town or city to secure the services of a professional experienced surveyor. In many instances it will be necessary to select the best person who at the time is available for the work. In general, it may be remarked that the one who is in charge of the survey should be a man with breadth of outlook, careful judgment unbiased by prejudice of any sort, considerable initiative, organizing power, some capacity for the interpretation of the facts obtained, and a fairly wide knowledge of school, social, and industrial conditions. In short, he may well be selected with the thought that he is to become later the director of vocational education in the community in which he has made the survey.

6. The survey.-As yet there is lacking both sufficient experience and agreement on the part of investigators to justify the setting up of specific methods for organizing a vocational survey. There are, however, certain deductions which may be made from existing surveys which are of material assistance in the formation of plans for a specific survey. For example, it will be necessary to know something about the social, economic, industrial, and educational conditions within the given municipality. It will be left to the director of the study to interpret the data gathered and to translate them into terms of local activity or into terms which shall give to the town or city certain rather definite reasons either for establishing particular types of schools or rather more definite reasons why no vocational schools, as such, should be established.

Inasmuch as the gathering of data and their interpretation are to be centered in the one individual, the following suggestive outline has been prepared, not so much showing a complete program as pointing out a line of attack which heretofore has been found to have sufficient merit to be workable. While possibly not all of the steps indicated have been utilized in any one study, each of them may be found as a part of some individual study.

1. Facts about the People. (While this may be somewhat too inclusive as a major division, it is used here in the restricted sense of a single locality.) (a) Population extent. The whole program will depend much upon the size of the community.

(b) Migration. That is to say, whether or not the population of the city is stable or movable.

(c) Conditions as to type.

(1) White or colored.

(2) Native or foreign born.

(d) Illiteracy.

2. Economic Factors.

(a) Tax rate, local and State; the whole tax burden.

(b) The indebtedness of the town or city.

(c) Conditions of waste in the expenditure of all public moneys.

2. Economic Factors-Continued.

(d) Possibilities for effecting economies by a reorganization of the present system of education.

(e) The amount of school funds, from whatever source, available for local use.

3. Industrial Factors.

(a) Apprenticeship.

(1) How extended.

(2) Lack produced what result.

(3) How to supply lack.

(4) Not needed because of type of labor employed, mature workers only, etc.

(b) Whether there is a content of technical knowledge or skill in any job that can not be acquired through routine work and for which special instruction is needed.

(1) If so, what is it?

(2) Whether it can be best imparted by provisions inside the


(3) If not, whether it is worth while to provide for such instruction through outside agencies.

(4) If this is true, whether such instruction shall take the form of

(a) All-day industrial schools.

(b) Trade schools.

(c) Part-time industrial classes.

(d) Evening classes.

(5) Whether there are any jobs for which it is not desirable either to direct the youth or to train him at public expense.

(6) What number of new workers could be prepared for any job, if it has a teachable content, without overstocking the market.

(7) What kind of equipment as to age and physical and mental assets the workers should have for the job.

(8) To what extent does the industry select its workers for any job so as to secure those best adapted to it.

(9) Whether their market is overcrowded.

4. School Factors.

(a) The number of children leaving school each year.

(b) The nationality, age, and schooling condition of those withdrawing. (c) The economic condition of those withdrawing.

(d) The wages, number of jobs, kinds of work, and advancement of

those withdrawing.

(e) Causes of retardation.

(f) Causes of withdrawal.

(g) Education after leaving school.

(h) Means of getting a job.

(i) Comparative amount of idleness of nongraduate, graduate, and high

school group.

(j) The aim, character, and extent of prevocational training in the elementary schools.

(k) The aim, character, and extent of manual training in elementary and high schools.

(1) The aim, character, and extent of the evening schools.

Chapter V.


As a result of a local survey, it is assumed that some form of vocational education should be undertaken. The particular type of such education to a considerable extent will indicate the method of organization. To avoid future complications and misunderstandings, the details of the plan should in all cases be determined so far as possible previous to the actual inauguration of the work. It should also be clear that in most of the States the local authorities will be the initiators of the work and will have the responsibility for its successful operation. In some States the central authority of the State will assist in the preliminary steps, will set standards and requirements, will approve the actual plans in advance, and will share in bearing the financial burdens.


It will be found in most States that there are certain legislative enactments and requirements which affect the installation of vocational work. It may be found in some of the States that the State constitution itself, as well as some of the legislative enactments, while not prohibiting, may, by restrictions as to compulsory attendance, etc., practically prevent the local authorities from undertaking this work. In short, these requirements will afford an effective barrier against any form of vocational education for persons between the ages of 14 and 18 years.

At the present time in several of the States direct provision has been made for the sharing of responsibility, both educational and financial, by the State. In other States it will be found that certain State funds may be transferred or made available for this work. This may be particularly true in those States in which there is a large income from excise taxes, and the various school funds established under the act can be utilized.

The central State authority in some States will have the power to set up certain definite standards and requirements as to the qualifications of the officers and instructors who are to have charge of this

« PreviousContinue »