Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/833

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815
INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

study would be dignified and glorified as is every kind of truth, when its true place and mission are discovered.

Do I hear you say, "This is all very fine in theory, but impossible in practice"? "We can not get the apparatus—we can not find the teachers"?

As for myself, I have no time for building castles in the air which can not be brought down to earth and built of solid material. Here are a few facts of positive knowledge: For a few dollars a working room or corner can be fitted up where all necessary apparatus can be made. There is no school whose boys and girls will not become enthusiastic in this kind of work, provided they have a little direction and encouragement of the right sort. The necessary funds for a beginning may be furnished by an exhibition, or by subscription of parties to whom the subject has been properly presented. It is our very positive conviction that for a much smaller sum than most people imagine there can be fitted up a school workshop in which the following results can be accomplished:

1. There can be made all the apparatus necessary to give a most excellent course in the elements of physical science.
2. There can be made, wholly or in part, blocks, weights, etc., whose use we have described.
3. Old bottles, test-tubes, tumblers, etc., can be graduated for the practical teaching of the liquid measures—each pupil having his own set of measures.
4. Easels, rules, etc., can be made for use in drawing.
5. Cases, shelves, brackets, etc., can be made for collections and for beautifying the room.
6. Pictures can be framed.
7. There can be made most, if not all, of the needed gymnastic apparatus, i. e., clubs can be turned, etc.

In short, the pupils can do a very large part of the work of properly fitting up the school-room, and this work can be so planned as to teach in the doing of it all the fundamental processes concerned in the various industries that deal with wood and metal. All this could be fitted into other lines of industrial work (sewing, modeling), and thus might be worked out a consistent and comprehensive scheme of general industrial training. Where are the teachers to be had? Let those who are giving their best thought to the problems of education first determine the sort of work that can and ought to be done in the schools, then let them submit their plans to the people through press and platform, and then reform the normal schools to suit the desires and demands of the people thus instructed. Consider for a moment what can be got out of a single piece of apparatus such as this system of levers:

1. There are the industrial processes concerned in its manufacture, making a smooth surface, a straight edge, a good joint, dividing