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The preliminary report of the committee on vocational education, issued at the Salt Lake meeting of the National Education Association, 1913, gave an account of the appointment of a committee as the result of resolutions passed at the Chicago meeting of the association in 1912. This report contained a statement of what had been accomplished in the few months available before the July meeting. The most important feature of this report was a tentative outline which showed the scope and possibility of the work.
The first question considered by the committee was whether or not a real need existed for its services and whether or not the work planned was a legitimate part of the work of the National Education Association. To establish some definite conclusions regarding this question, an investigation was carried on by the committee by means of a questionnaire to a limited number of the active members of the National Education Association. This questionnaire, briefly setting up the fact of the appointment of the committee, was so arranged as to ascertain rather accurately the opinions of those to whom it was submitted as to the need and desirability of further activity by this committee. The large majority of affirmative answers in reply to this questionnaire seemed to indicate that there Was a legitimate field in which positive work could be done.
The investigation was carried still further by a more extended questionnaire on the whole question of vocational education. This Was submitted to about 500 members of the National Education Association, and replies were received from nearly one-half of those to whom it had been submitted. The general conclusion drawn from the replies was that there exists a real need for investigation, suggestion, and recommendation in this field, inasmuch as vocational education bears a very positive relation to public welfare. The complete results of this questionnaire were submitted to the National Education Association at its St. Paul meeting, 1914. At the same meeting in St. Paul there was publish ed a proposed terminology prepared by a subcommittee of this committee, consisting of Dr. David Snedden, commissioner of education in Massachusetts, chairman; Mr. C. R. Allen, agent for the State Board of Education in Massachusetts, and the chairman of this committee. This terminology did not attempt to settle the question of definitions; it rather prepared a tentative proposal which might enable persons interested in the introduction of vocational education to clarify their own thinking and their own statements in regard to the work. A revision of this terminology in the light of later criticisms is included in this report.
From time to time meetings of this committee have been held both in connection with the meetings of the National Education Association and in connection with the meetings of the National Society for the Promotion of Industrial Education. At these meetings in most cases a majority of the committee have been present, and it has been possible to consider somewhat carefully plans of work. As in all committee work, it has been necessary, however, for individuals to carry on specific investigations and to make rather definite reports of such investigations. Much of the matter submitted has been
" referred to persons not members of the committee, and has been revised in view of such suggestions and reactions as have been made by them. It has not been possible to submit each individual document to each individual member of this committee; hence, in the presentation of the following report it should be borne in mind that the specific chapters have been prepared, not by the committee as a whole, but by individual members of the committee or by persons selected by this committee. In planning the work for this volume it was first thought that the whole field should be covered. The extended outline prepared as the first report of the committee, however, was so comprehensive that for practical purposes it seemed utterly impossible to prepare a volume which should contain all the points mentioned. In short, it would appear that there is a growing conviction that the field of vocational education is so replete with possibilities that it is quite necessary that continuous work be carried on both in the field of survey and accomplishment and in the field of suggested forward movement.
In the plans made for the preparation of this volume the idea was presented that it should be prepared for the assistance of those seeking to introduce vocational education into any given community. Through conference it developed that in all probability the superintendents of schools in the several communities throughout the country would be the persons most likely to be interested in the introduction of this type of education. For that reason the objective was to prepare a report which would be of assistance to the average superintendent of schools in a community of ordinary size, were he to feel the need of introducing such work into his home school system. With this limitation the committee set to work to prepare its report. Among the things felt to be especially necessary were a brief historic setting of the work in vocational education, some knowledge of the kinds of schools that have been established in this country, and where these schools may be found, a knowledge of the terms and definitions which seem to be desirable in the work of vocational education for purposes of clearness, a knowledge of how to investigate the need for the work in any given community, a knowledge of how to carry it on after investigation has been made, some reference to the relation between vocational education and vocational guidance, the proper methods of financing the problem, and a statement of possible problems and difficulties which have not been settled and which require further consideration previous to their settlement.
1 The material for the following chapters was, in the first instance, assembled by the persons here named: Chapters I and II, by Robert J. Fuller; Chapters III and IX, by David Snedden : Chapters IV and V, by Charles Prosser; (hapter VI, by C. H. Winslow : Chapter VII, by Meyer Bloomfield ; Chapter VIII, by A. Lincoln Filene ; and the appendix by E. R. Snyder.
The committee which was appointed by the president of the National Education Association at the meeting of the department of superintendence in February, 1913, consisted of educators, social workers, labor representatives, and business men. The widely representative character of the committee was planned for in the original resolutions, passed at the Chicago meeting in 1912. As at present constituted the committee is made up of the following persons:
Robert J. Fuller, chairman, superintendent of schools, North Attleboro, Mass.
David Snedden, State commissioner of education, Boston, Mass.
Arthur D. Dean, chief of the division of industrial education, State of New York.
R. W. Himelich, principal Normal Training School, Cleveland, Ohio.
Charles H. Winslow, director of surveys, Indianapolis, Ind.
Frank Duffy, general secretary United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, Indianapolis, Ind.
W. B. Prescott, formerly commissioner of International Typographical Union on Supplemental Trade Education, Chicago.
A. Lincoln Filene, treasurer and general manager of William Filene's Sons' Co., Boston, Mass.
Walter D. Sayle, president Cleveland Punch & Shear Works, Cleveland, Ohio.
Miss Julia Lathrop, Chief Children's Bureau, Washington, D. C.
Owen P. Lovejoy, secretary National Child Labor Committee, New York.
Charles A. Prosser, president Dunwoody Institute, Minneapolis, Minn.