natural activity, it permits him to engage in work so arranged as to lead him to discover the principles to be taught, to apply his knowledge, and thus obtain a useful training.
The instruction is on the inductive plan, mainly through practical exercises, but in part oral. Class instruction is used only when general directions must be given, as when commencing a class, explaining the use of tools, position, etc. Otherwise, individual instruction is employed, it being found to yield the best results; but, as the pupil advances, the teacher's aid becomes less necessary.
The training consists mainly in performing certain exercises calculated to give general dexterity, promote health and strength, and at the same time develop the perceptive faculties, ingenuity of construction, concentrated attention, love of exactness, and artistic taste.
The exercises, though necessarily varying with the requirements of different localities, must embody the leading principles of the system; be conducive to health and development; pleasing, so as to interest the pupil; varied, so as to exercise the various faculties; and graded, so that the pupil may, with the mere guidance of the teacher, pass from the first and simplest to the last and most difficult.
Series of objects or models made of wood (Figs. 1 and 2) are used to illustrate the exercises. These models, though varying according to localities, must always represent useful articles; be of pleasing forms, in which curved lines largely enter; be varied, so as to demand variety of skill; and be systematically arranged, so that each subsequent model requires an exact copy of the preceding. All careless work must be excluded, as also polishing and painting, in order to secure the more thorough workmanship. The tools comprise all the essential ones used in carpentry as the knife, the hammer, the center-bit, the try-square, compasses, saws, files, planes, etc. The work-room must be spacious, airy, and well lighted, and the work-benches should turn, so that when the pupil is at work the light shall fall on him chiefly from the left side. The teaching should not be intrusted to others than those who have natural qualifications for the work, have been instructed in the science of education, and trained in the system of Sloyd.
The courses of instruction must necessarily depend on circumstances, but the instruction falls naturally into three stages, viz., an elementary, an intermediate, and an advanced course; or, more simply, into an elementary course for children, and an advanced course for older pupils. In any case the period of instruction may be made to coincide with that of the common school.
What relation Sloyd bears to other systems of manual training