POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.
tion and relationships of the flora of this ancient archipelago still has in store for him who can undertake it many most interesting and instructive discoveries. A complete knowledge of the present condition and past history of the plant life of one such small part of the world would be of infinite help to the comprehension of all larger regions.
|THE PHILOSOPHY OF MANUAL TRAINING.|
DIRECTOR OF THE HIGH-SCHOOL DEPARTMENT, PRATT INSTITUTE, BROOKLYN, N. Y.
I HAVE tried to show in previous papers the grounds upon which manual training rests its educational claims, and to point out some of the results of this training. It remains for me to indicate the place which manual training ought to occupy in the whole scheme of culture. I shall not consider formal education plus manual training, but rather a system of education in which manual training forms an integral part. So considered, the question becomes a very comprehensive one, for it amounts to nothing less than an examination of our whole scheme of secondary education.
It has been insisted upon all along that education is a process, a tool, a means to an end, and not in any way an end in itself, not something fixed and sacred, but something quite fluid and alterable. And, further, it has been suggested that education is but another name for the process of evolution made conscious, and must consist in such control of the environment as will bring about the desired human reactions.
The problem before us is quite definite. Given babies of three and four years, what shall be done with them up to eighteen years, so that they shall evolve into desirable types of men and women? The present system, as you know, is somewhat elaborate. The kindergarten, elementary school, and high school cover just the ground we are considering. It is a continuous, well-co-ordinated process, and some of its results are quite beautiful. But I believe that it is not the best. The problem is to build up a system which shall be in accord with our accepted philosophy of life, and shall satisfy the ethical and social ideals of the heart. At three and four, what have we given? At eighteen, what do we want? The answer to these two questions is the educational data. How shall the material given grow into the material wanted? The answer to this question is the educational method. It is this latter answer that involves the application of manual training.