Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/401

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387
KINDERGARTENS AND MANUAL TRAINING.

detection in ill-doing when he gets out; and this child of the beggar or thief, with no skill in hand or arm for work, sees no way but to do as he has done before. In the half-time industrial school he is placed under new conditions, by which good thoughts are impressed from day to day to the exclusion of bad ones: he becomes grounded in the primary moral principles of attention, patience, self-restraint, prompt and exact obedience; hope springs up in his poor crushed soul, as he gets interested in his work and does it with a will. There is enough accumulated experience in England and America to warrant the statement that the most profitable investment that can be made in "futures" is in those of the living children of the country by making the kindergarten and manual training part of the public-school system throughout the broad land. It would undoubtedly add much to the cost of education, but it would be more than offset by lessening the cost of reformatories and the support of criminals. More, it would afford useful and congenial employment for thousands of women—for it is really impossible to imagine a man's becoming a successful kindergartner; the teacher in that school needs to be endowed with the divine instinct of motherhood, and succeeds because she follows it, just as a good trained nurse succeeds through her inherent I-must-care-for-somebody characteristic. A doctor of wide experience predicts that the movement for the training of masculine nurses will be a comparative failure, simply from lack of this foundation element in the pupils. There are now good training schools for kindergartners, where all that can be imparted by teaching, to supplement natural ability can be learned; and we venture to declare that the most promising missionary field in the world is to be found on the outer fringe of our large cities, where in a narrow tenement the mother has her creché on her lap and her "kindergarten" and her "primary" and "secondary" pupils at her side, all under the age to be admitted in the public school. What more natural, when the smallest goes to sleep, than to send the others into the street, where they must perforce learn its evil lessons? In the city of New York there are many thousands of these children. Suppose that one thousand young women, well instructed in the art of teaching according to Froebel's system, should each gather about her a score of these undisciplined waifs, teach them till they were six, and then pass them on to a school where manual training is mixed with "book-learning" in the measures experience has demonstrated is wisest, to be taught till twelve—it would result in the greatest salvation from evil, and in the greatest addition to the working capacity of the generation, that could be made.

In 1870, at the solicitation of Miss E. P. Peabody, the Boston School Board established a kindergarten and conducted it for sev-