Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/467

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445
THE SPIRIT OF MANUAL TRAINING.

measure out a suitable penalty in addition. The same effort can better be applied to an attempt to show the boy why a certain line of conduct is wrong, and the greater beauty of the right. All appeals are avoided which involve in any way the fear of consequences. This applies not only to the discipline of the school but also to questions of scholarship. The system of daily marking has been abolished, and an attempt made to substitute the natural and proper motive for study in place of the lower and artificial one. No rod, either mental or physical, is held over the boy. Solomon was the great advocate of that system of government, but, judging from the subsequent behavior of Rehoboam, it has been suggested that it was not a success even in the hands of so wise a man. The school is to prepare for life, and in life things are not conducted in that way. The difficult art of governing one's self can best be learned if the practice begins in boyhood. It becomes increasingly difficult to choose the wrong as one recognizes more and more clearly that the offense is primarily against one's own nature, and can meet forgiveness only by self-atonement. The deepest philosophy of life thus forms an essential part of the curriculum of a manual training school. I do not believe that a school conducted in this spirit ever graduates a boy who feels that he is escaping from restraint when he leaves the school. He is under the eye of an ever-present master, who judges with increasing culture, not according to appearance, but righteous judgment; for that master, if the school has been successful, is himself. We feel justified in subordinating the less serious ends of education to this one supreme end; for conduct, as Matthew Arnold says, is at least three fourths of life. It is the essence of religion, the material of men.

In thus seeking to reach the inner sources of conduct and achievement, the manual training school renders an inestimable service if it succeed in arousing boys to think for themselves, and in making them the guardians of their own destiny, working under divine law. But the work of the school does not end here. The occupations of life which open before its graduates are varied and numerous. There is something for all talents, however diverse. A school which produces men must so train its boys that they will be competent to take some definite and acceptable part in this complex activity. The selection of the right part to be taken is a matter of no small moment. It must be made ultimately by the boy himself, but he is as yet so young and so inexperienced, it is no wonder that many men declare in after-life that they have mistaken their vocation. Unless his genius be of the pronounced type which knows its future from the very cradle, this selection, all-important as it is, is extremely difficult to make. The boy needs help and friendly counsel. To prevent the enor-