Page images

process which the shop denies him and which is necessary to his insight, interest, and growth in the occupation. Every experience goes to show that a minimum amount of equipment under the school roof is necessary as a teaching device which will make it possible for the teacher to closely correlate or connect the instruction which he is giving with the shop processes as they can be illustrated on the machines.

One great mistake which many manual-training and technical high schools have made, and which industrial schools are in danger of making, is that of providing a large number of tools and machines of one kind rather than a smaller number of different tools and machines. There are manual-training and technical high schools in this country where in order to carry on the teaching of pupils in groups enough metal lathes have been secured to provide one for each pupil in the largest section which the school handles. This policy requires both an enormous building with many different shop rooms and a large outlay of money for equipment for the work, much of which is unnecessary and dooms the school forever to a system of training where the pupil is taught by the exercise rather than the job method, where individual instruction has no place, and where the pupils are handled entirely in groups. The same amount of money put into a more varied equipment would enable the school, whether it be a manual-training school or industrial or trade school, to deal with the pupils individually so as to give each a wider range of experience with different machines, substitute the individual for the group method of instruction, and to approach more nearly the conditions of real shopwork so necessary in the proper training for success in the industries.


Any adequate program of vocational education must provide instruction both for those who desire preparation for a calling before entering it and for those whose advancement depends upon additional training of some kind after they are employed. In either case the instruction in one or more of the three forms of education-industrial, agricultural, and homemaking-may be given.

Schools planned for these two groups may be generally classified under three heads:

I. The all-day school, where the pupil devotes the entire school day to instruction.

II. The part-time or continuation school, where the pupil having already gone to work devotes a part of the working time for further education.

III. The evening school, where mature workers attend evening classes, receiving instruction supplementary to their day employment.

[ocr errors]


The survey will undoubtedly show the presence of a body of children who have left school at the age of 14 (or younger where the law permits), many of whom have not finished the elementary school. Because of their limited education, their lack of skill, and their immaturity, they will probably be found engaged in a variety of odd jobs, shifting about from one occupation to another, with little or no opportunity to advance in either skill or earning capacity beyond that which brings a meager subsistence.

It would appear, therefore, that for this group, who are likely to enter industry early, there is needed a school or courses which will minister to their vocational as well as their civic needs. While the all-day industrial school can seldom teach a trade in the fullest sense of the term, there is a fund of experience which shows that it can do much to prepare girls and boys over 14 years of age for entrance into the trades.

In these schools a close relation must be maintained between theory and practice. Practical shopwork must be supplemented by related studies in English, civics, industrial history and geography, and elementary mathematics, as well as by the science and mathematics underlying the trades. In this way the school will make for intelligent citizenship as well as for superior workmanship in the years to come. Shop conditions must be approached as nearly as possible in the school, and in general the following conditions should be met in the school:

1. Not less than one-half the time of the pupil should be given to actual shopwork, including such calculations and shop drawing as may be necessary to bring the projects of the pupils in the shop to successful completion.

2. The shopwork must be conducted on a productive or commercial basis as distinguished from the ordinary manual-training method of handling pupils in the shop.

3. The instruction must tend to become individual as distinguished from group or class instruction.

4. The shopwork must be carried on as nearly like the work done in a first-class commercial shop as conditions will permit.

5. The results of the pupils' work should be useful articles which can be utilized in the school system or have a market value.

6. The assignment of work to a pupil in the shop should be by projects or jobs.

7. The progress of the pupil through the shop and school should be measured by the projects or jobs which he has completed in a satisfactory manner.

8. The classroom instruction in the related academic subjects, such as arithmetic, drawing, and science, should be closely connected at every possible point with his shoproom experience in order that it may be of immediate practical value to the pupil.

9. Every day industrial school should plan for at least a one year's course and for not more than a four years' course.

10. Every year's work should, so far as possible, be a unit unto itself. Each year's work should be organized and administered in a way that would confer upon the pupil a definite value in vocational training, so that if he should leave the school at the end of the year the instruction could be used by him as a tool in trade for better wage earning.

11. Not less than three (60-minute) hours should be devoted each day to actual shopwork. The school session should not be less than six nor more than eight hours, not counting the recess and noon periods.

12. So far as feasible, instruction should be given in English, history, civics, and other appropriate subjects which would tend to make the pupils self-helpful, intelligent, and worthy citizens. The end of the vocational school should not be merely to produce a technically competent workman, but a citizen of the State who seeks not only to advance his own welfare through his work, but who is ready and willing to place his efforts at the service of his community and State.


A second group to be considered in providing vocational training opportunities is that made up of young people who have left school before completing their elementary education and who are therefore handicapped by lack of schooling either for successful wage earning or for intelligent citizenship. These young people are neither prepared to choose a vocation intelligently nor to follow it with sufficient prospect of future advancement, because the schools have assumed no responsibility for their preparation for employment before they must become wage earners. Under present social and economic conditions it is probable that the all-day industrial school, when developed to the full, will not reach more than a meager percentage of the youth. By far the largest number must be reached by the part-time schools, which will take a part of the working time of young persons between 14 and 18 years of age for continued education, either along the line of a chosen vocation or of general civic intelligence.

While, therefore, it is important to provide for preparatory vocational training for every boy and girl who can afford to spend even a year or two in school, beyond that which is required by law, it is more

important to provide for that great mass of children whose education is at present terminated by entrance to a "job," and whose only prospect for further education is dependent upon its not being divorced from the possibility of wage earning at the same time.

It is also true that to a large extent the schools have abandoned the adolescent wage earner entirely to the shop and the factory and have taken no further responsibility or care for his preparation or guidance, just at the time in his life when he most needs discipline, instruction, and the direction of his newly awakened social, civic, and industrial interests.

Very little, if any, of the work which he is doing is of a character which will permit of directly related teaching, so far as strictly industrial subjects are concerned. The industrial experience which he is probably getting in daily employment is frequently such as to enable him to profit greatly by subjects which, while not definitely connected with his particular job, would nevertheless lead to greater industrial intelligence and greater surety of future success as a trade worker.

Also there are many who believe that, while all-day industrial schools can give general industrial intelligence and helpful preliminary training for entrance to a trade, and that real trade preparation may be given to a limited few over 16 years of age in special trade schools, the understanding of the technical and theoretical part of a trade can in general be mastered only by those who are already engaged in actual practice in that trade. Clearly, therefore, one of the best ways that a small industrial community can provide vocational education is by the part-time plan. This provides for an equitable distribution of the responsibility for vocational education between the shop in which the pupils are employed and the school providing a few hours of instruction each week designed to make the young workers more efficient workmen and better citizens. The two large purposes of part-time instruction may be stated as follows:

1. To increase the general intelligence of young workers and lead them to understand better their social and civic duties.

2. To increase their industrial intelligence and skill and develop capacity for advancement within a given trade where such opportunity exists, or where it does not to prepare for some skilled and remunerative work in another line.

Such instruction will have in mind to provide, among other things: 1. Trade extension for the "next step up" within a given industry. 2. Trade preparation courses for boys and girls employed in juvenile occupations, in order that they may enter other and more favorable occupations when they are older.

3. General improvement courses for those employed in occupations where advancement is dependent upon increased civic and general intelligence.

4. Home economics courses for girls who are employed in any line of industry.

It is clear from the above considerations that part-time education will be of two distinct types, according to the amount of time per week given to school instruction:

First, the strictly part-time vocational school in which approximately one-half of the pupils' time is set apart for the school and one-half in some trade or part of a trade in a shop for which compensation is received.

Second, the part-time school of the continuation type, which is for the purpose of permitting the boy (or girl) for a few hours each week an opportunity to continue his education beyond what was possible under previous conditions because of economic pressure or other


It follows as a matter of course that the amount and kind of instruction that may be given in a part-time class may vary greatly. As to time devoted to the work, five or more hours may be given to the instruction per week, a day a week, or the half-time plan may be adopted, whereby alternate weeks may be given to the school and shop or farm. Whether the half-time plan or less than half-time plan should be used will depend, of course, upon the facilities which the school has for handling the classes, the amount of cooperation that can be secured from the employers concerned, the class of individuals to be served, etc.


The following types of part-time instruction are at present being carried on in this country, or have been proposed as practicable schemes for part-time vocational work:

(1) Plans classified according to responsibility of employer.

(a) The No-responsibility Scheme, in which the employer does nothing more than to organize the factory or plant so that the pupils may have time off from the shop or factory during working hours to attend the school.

(b) The Part-responsibility Scheme, wherein the employer, in addition to making arrangements so as to afford time off for the school, pays the pupil for all or a part of the time spent in the school, i. e., pays for half or all the time lost from the business.

(c) The Full-responsibility Scheme prevails when the employer, in addition to arranging his work so as to cooperate with the school, agrees with the school authorities to give the young workers an opportunity to secure the round of experiences at the different machines and processes in the shop which will give them breadth of skill and insight as workmen and enable them to get the necessary instruction to learn the trade in the school. In most cases the learners are paid for the time they spend in the school. This plan is most often used in connection with the more important skilled industries.

« PreviousContinue »