Popular Science Monthly/Volume 41/July 1892/Kindergartens-Manual Training-Industrial Schools
|KINDERGARTENS—MANUAL TRAINING INDUSTRIAL—SCHOOLS.|
IN 1877 a prominent Chicago law firm advertised for an office-messenger. In response, more than six hundred college-bred and academy-taught boys applied for the position. In the same year, in the same city, a man engaged in trade put a very inconspicuous advertisement—with no indication that his was a large and old-established house—into an inconspicuous column of a daily paper, calling for the services of an office-boy and messenger. More than three hundred answers were received—many of them from grown men, some of them coming into the category "educated" as commonly understood. Much later than the above date, the position of book-keeper and confidential clerk to a down-town merchant in New York suddenly became vacant. He advertised; more than two hundred applicants responded. "Which one did you take?" queried the person to whom he was relating the incident. "Not any of them; for the fact was that, on my way to my business, I learned of the sudden death of a man in a business similar to my own. I knew that his affairs would have to be closed up, and I knew that he had just the man I wanted—one who understood the ins and outs of the business to perfection; so I just stopped and told the clerk, who was at the moment closing up and putting crape on the door, that when he was at liberty I wished an interview with him, and I thought it might result to his advantage. In a few days he came, and he suits me to a dot." One of these cities it will be noticed was in the young and growing West, the other was in the older and presumably more crowded East.
No doubt these incidents can be matched in most of the large cities of the country, and what is their moral? What message do they convey to the well-wisher of his country or his race? What was the matter with these so-called "educated" men that they could find no place in one of the busiest spots on earth; and why did the merchant ignore his two hundred replies?
Perhaps we need to revise our ideas of what education consists in, and certainly the merchant demanded trained faculty, and instantly seized upon it because he knew that he was getting it.
College education, simply of itself, no longer gives a man that pre-eminently superior position that it once did; in addition, he must be able to bring his faculties to bear among the practical and pushing men by whom he is surrounded, or he will be relegated to the limbo of learned incapables, whose pathetic stories come to the surface daily in the column "Situations wanted—males."
The first step in rectifying an error is to probe and analyze it, so as to discover its real nature and dimensions, and the inquiry at once arises, Were those six hundred men really educated, or had part of their powers, and perhaps the powers best worthy of cultivation in each individual case, been ignored, or neglected through giving undue attention to the so-called purely "intellectual faculties"?
It may be said that this great army of the unemployed ought to disperse, and betake themselves to the abandoned farms that are crying out for owners and cultivators; but they would be just as helpless and unadapted there, for the simple reason that the taste and skill for farming need to be acquired in youth, and these poor creatures are best described by a word used by a countryman in apologizing for his wife's shortcomings as a housekeeper, "She means well, but she ain't noways faculized."
There has been a silent revolution going on for the last fifty years through which a "college education" has been deposed from its position of prime fetich among English-speaking people, and a new set of men—happily named captains of industry—are making their way to the front rank. Never was it truer than today that "new times demand new measures and new men," while it is being discovered that, even for the highest development of what are termed the purely intellectual faculties, book-learning and those studies that can be pursued in the isolated cloister or seminary are not all-sufficient. We are standing in the dawn of a new day, in which the term manual training is coming into universal use, and we are destined to hear much more of it and learn much more of its relations to the well-being of individuals and the body politic in the near future.
Between the years 1800 and 1830 a spirit may be said to have been moving upon the waters, in several countries at the same time, to effect a revolution in men's ideas as to the capacities for improvability in man, and the means by which these capacities can be developed, till at length, what may be called the gospel of culture was initiated. Twenty years before the French Revolution, Rousseau had put forth his Emile, a hand-book on education, which was one of those germinal, potent books that, though burned in France, was a seed that brought forth a hundred-fold when it was dropped into the minds of Pestalozzi in Switzerland and Goethe in Germany: it led them to study the human faculties in a new way—to take cognizance of the physical nature, as the concomitant if not the basis of sane and profitable action in the mind. Those men died nearly at the same time, and when England was on the verge of a mighty industrial upheaval; and as the torch of wisdom fell from their relaxing hands, it was caught up in England by men who were scourged to action through fear of a terrific crisis. Its light shot across the Atlantic to safe and peaceful America, and a new style of teaching was inaugurated largely through the influence of Horace Mann; but this again was improved upon, and brought more into harmony with the fundamental laws of mind by Froebel in Germany—one of his most earnest American propagandists being the venerable Miss Elizabeth P. Peabody—and now it seems as if his ideas are on the verge of universal realization.
In 1831-'32 England was in a state of ferment; incendiaries kept the country lighted up by a line of blazing hay-ricks from county to county, cattle were poisoned or mutilated, and every day brought news of some fine machine broken up by the factory people, as a devouring monster that had come to eat the bread out of their mouths, and the real oppressions and fancied injuries of the factory population had become so unbearable that Parliament could no longer remain apathetic and supine.
In 1833 a commission was appointed to examine into the condition of the labor of young persons and children employed in factories. The commissioners found generally that the children were worked during the same stages as adults—eleven, twelve, or more hours daily—and this long-time labor had practically excluded the children from the means of education, so that a population had been growing up deteriorated morally as well as physically by excess of labor. Sir Edwin Chadwick was charged with the work of drawing up a bill that should remedy the evils of their condition. The commission declared that six hours of daily labor was all that young children could endure without permanent bodily harm, and insisted that manufacturers enforcing work during those long hours should do it with double sets of children, six hours to each set. The provision which Mr. Chadwick proposed as an efficient protection to these little factory slaves against exclusion from education was, "that it should be a condition of the employment of children by the manufacturer that every child so employed should produce a certificate from a competent teacher in a fitting school, certifying that the child had been under instruction three hours every working-day during the week preceding; three hours being half the time then generally occupied in the working-schools. Hence the name "half-school-timers," which soon shortened into "half-timers."
These three hours' schooling much of it in inferior or nominal schools was primarily intended as a security from overwork, for it was reasoned "Three hours in the school-room keeps them out of the workshop three hours," and the immediate effect, as testified by competent medical men, was a better growth; and, quite unexpectedly, employers admitted, a better quality of work. But, over and above these results, there came out of these investigations investigations and measures some surprising revelations and practical results, which eventually affected the whole of the prevalent practice of infantile and juvenile training and education. The graded school and the trained teacher were partially the incidental outcome of a work primarily undertaken to rescue mentally and physically the young factory slaves. There were a few enlightened and humane employers, permeated with the progressive spirit of the time, who established schools in connection with their works, and there were some good schools kept by trained teachers in the large manufacturing towns, as at Manchester and Oldham, where the half-timers could be sent. Mr. Chadwick made a careful study of the best conditions for mental work among twelve pupils, during a period of twelve years, and has left on record some very surprising but accurately thought-out conclusions. He thinks that alert voluntary attention is the only profitable attention, and he is sure that "three hours is as much time as can be occupied profitably with any subject-matters of instruction, with very young children," but it was found that the half-timers got a superior habit of mental activity, so that employers came to prefer short-timers to long-timers, and the military drill that had been introduced in the schools resulted in such superior bodily aptitudes that the stunted pauper boys of town got the preference over strong, robust rustics from the coast; but the most surprising result remains to be stated, for it soon began to appear that in mental attainments the half-time factory boy was in advance of the pupils of the board schools of the same age, the factory boy attaining the fourth standard by his tenth year, while the "long-time" board scholar reached it in his twelfth or thirteenth year.
In 1882, after half a century of observation and experiment, Mr. Chadwick summed up some of the defects of the current systems in words too apt to be improved upon. He says: "Unfortunately, the primary principle of education, the capacity of the recipient, the mind, is not understood or regarded. . . . The receptivity of the minds of the great mass of children, for direct simultaneous class-teaching—the only effective teaching is less than three hours, and where these limits are undistinguished and disregarded, the consequences are displayed in wearisome efforts, as it were, to get quarts into mental capacities of pints and gallons into quarts, with prolonged sedentary detentions for this foolish purpose, and with grievous bodily as well as mental injury."
Meantime, educators have now settled these points:
1. The inadequacy of the old-fashioned college education to enable the average man to take and hold a place among the world's needed workers—those six hundred applicants in Chicago prove this.
2. They have entirely changed their views as to the relation of the bodily powers to mental training; and—
3. They have changed their views as to the right time in which to lay the foundations of moral character.
While these advances were being made in the science of pedagogy the human body—as a means of development for the mind and soul—began to be discovered; and, instead of its being regarded as a mere shell or scaffolding wholly outside and apart from the unseen nature, it was found out that the "sound body" in which the wisest of the ancients lodged their "sound mind," had much to do with the growth and perfection of the spiritual nature.
In April of 1891 some of the leading educators of this country held in Boston a conference on manual training; and we make no apology for copious extracts from the phonographic report of their addresses, as they contain the latest utterances of the persons best qualified to speak on the theme we are considering.
Said President Eliot, of Harvard: "The wisdom of my parents caused me to be taught carpentry and wood-turning before I was fifteen years old while I was yet a member of the Boston Latin School. It has been of great use to me all my life, and a great pleasure. Then, later, after graduating at college, I became a chemist by profession. I studied that difficult science for years, and then I taught it for years. In every science a great deal of manual skill is necessary for the student and the teacher. The progress of the world in natural science during the last century has been greatly due to the trained senses—eyes, ears, noses, and fingers?—of the experts in those sciences.
"Then for the last twenty years I have seen that one of the great improvements which have been wrought in education in all civilized countries has been the individualization of instruction so as to meet the precise needs and develop the capacities and powers of each individual, at each stage of his development.
"I am old enough to remember when the brain was supposed to be the seat of the mind, just as the lungs were held to be the furnace that warms the body. I remember being taught that the animal heat was kept up in the lungs, but we all know better now; we know now that whenever an atom is consumed, in whatever part of the body, there heat is generated, and therefore that the animal heat pervades the whole organism. It is just so with regard to the human mind: it pervades the body. It is not in the head, but it is all over the body, and when you train the hand or the eye or the ear, you train the mind: manual training is mental training. Never admit that manual training is anything distinguished from or in opposition to mental training. In the skill of the artist's hand, in the methodical, accurate movement of the mechanic's arm, in the acute observation through the physician's eye or ear, there is always mind. We are, in manual training, simply training another kind of faculty—not memory, but discriminating observation and correct perception. The old-fashioned education was chiefly devoted to the training of memory; most of the work in the grammar school to-day is memorytraining. I am thankful for every effort to train our youth to correct observation, just discrimination, and accurate measurement.
"There is another value in manual training in that it trains the mind through success, through achievement, through doing something tangible and visible and doing it well. When a boy has planed a parallelopiped of iron so well that no light shows under the edge of his try-square when he applies it to the faces of the block, he has done something which demands patience and care and attention, something which he can prove to be well done—something which he be proud of. There is mind in such work, and there is also sound morality in it."
Sir Edwin Chadwick says: "It is proved practically that the physical training in the school stage, giving the use of hands, arms, eyes, and legs, is giving aptitudes for all industrial occupations"; and, also, in commenting on the military drill as introduced largely through his influence in the public schools in England: "The physical exercise in the military drill is a visible moral exercise in all that is implied in the term discipline—viz., duty, obedience to command, order, self-restraint, punctuality, and patience. There is good and bad elementary moral education, as shown by the outcome, and especially by the outcome of the half-time system of education; but the half-sedentary or intellectual and dogmatic education, and the half-physical, has now been proved to be far more successful than any other system yet known or practiced."
The eminent manual instructors all over the country echo this experience, as above set forth, by two of the foremost authorities among English-speaking people.
During the last twenty years, and especially during the last ten, the great army of Christian men and women, who have been striving to uplift humanity, have been revising and modifying their views as to the best time in which to begin setting young feet in those right paths that shall lead them to usefulness and happiness; and the general consensus of opinion is that between the years of three and six is the most precious seed-time for the implanting of moral principles—that then is the time for "bending the twig" effectively. One of the men in New York of the largest experience among the children of the neglected and criminal classes says, "We find that all we can do for their moral improvement must be accomplished before they are twelve years old, and we find that the earlier we begin the better."
An instrument seems to be provided in the kindergarten, in which a thoroughly thought-out science of instruction adapted to the child-mind is put in practice with children as soon as they show a longing for the companionship of other children; it is an institution which bridges over the chasm between the nursery and the school.
Philanthropists, looking at human material as a whole, perceive that true economy of force concerns itself with forming, thus preventing the need of reforming. It can be demonstrated from the money standpoint alone, leaving out of view the inevitable misery involved in the latter process.
In New York city there are now 142,519 children under five years of age whose homes are in the tenement-houses. The latest report of the New York Kindergarten Association states the cost of conducting a kindergarten of fifty pupils at fourteen hundred dollars per annum—twenty-eight dollars per capita. At the Elmira Reformatory it costs one hundred and eighty-eight dollars per annum to support one of these children whose manual and moral training has been neglected after the commission of some crime has placed an indelible stain on his name. Mr. Brockway states that very few of these young burdens on society have "any acquaintance with any craft requiring skilled labor, and their parents are just as deficient"; so that the earnest men and women who are now striving to lift the metropolis of the nation toward the level already attained by Boston, San Francisco, St. Louis, and a host of other cities by the establishment of free kindergartens, are taking possession of the largest and most hopeful missionary field still lying unoccupied under the broad arch of heaven. Mr. Gilder truly says, "Plant a free kindergarten in any quarter of this overcrowded metropolis, and you have begun, then and there, the work of making better lives, better homes, better citizens, and a better city."
Pestalozzi saw that the moral forces of the human soul—feeling and will—require to be dealt with in a manner analogous to the cultivation of the intellectual faculties, that a training school is needed for the moral side of cultivation—one in which the power of moral action may be acquired. He said, "There must be a definite system of rules by which always without exception a firm will may be produced"; and the Baroness von Bülow adds, "The development of children into men and women must be brought under the laws of a well-considered system, which shall never fail to accomplish its end, viz., the cultivation in them of a firm and invariably right will."
In discussing the necessity for the kindergarten, physiology and psychology unite in crying out against the waste of the years from three to six. Says Prof. Bain, in his Education as a Science: "The brain grows with great rapidity up to seven years of age. It then attains an average weight of forty ounces in the male; from that time it grows, but at a diminishing rate, till twenty, when it has nearly attained its greatest size." It would seem pretty clear that there is some connection between intellectual power and brain-growth. Whatever it can take hold of, it can fix and ingrain with an intensity proportionate to its rate of growth, and we begin too late if we allow time to pass by when good and useful impressions could be made with perfect safety to physical and mental health, and nearly all thoughtful teachers and psychologists agree that for certain classes of impressions the first six or seven years of life are worth all the rest put together: it is at this period that curiosity to see and to know is at its intensest."
In the town of Christchurch, England, we hear of children under six put to making the delicate chains that connect the mainsprings of watches to the works, because when older their fingers are too large and clumsy; and of still smaller ones in London who are made to rub in the nitrate of silver used in dyeing sealskins, because their tiny slender fingers can pass effectively in and out among the hairs; but there can be no delight in this work to the poor child-slave, such as is felt in the kindergarten, where, seated at a table in company with others of his own age, the child plaits strips of straw or leather or colored paper, or models from clay a nest of birds and its eggs, or forms a miniature house and garden and fence, from pretty materials after a pattern of his own designing, in which his mind has passed through the natural stages of perception, observation, comparison, judgment, conclusion, and production. Then a pretty song, descriptive of some incident or process, in which all join, is followed by mild gymnastic exercises adapted to the childish frame, and thus, as the Baroness von Billow says: "In playful work or workful play the child finds a relief for, and a satisfaction of, his active impulses, and receives an elementary groundwork for all later work, whether artistic or professional." Many of the articles made are intended as special gifts for some birthday or for Christmas, or they are sold to procure the means of dressing a Christmas tree for some poor or sick child, for it is one of the fundamental principles of the system to teach the child consideration for others, and also to give him a true respect for useful work—"work which is at the same time a fulfillment of duty is the only true basis of moral culture." But it is necessary that such work should satisfy the child's instinct of love, and the object of it must be to give pleasure to others, and a system of education such as is demanded by modern times should make work suck as shall connect artistic dexterity with the cultivation of intelligence its basis. A writer in the Philadelphia Times, commenting on the public-school "education" as conducted mostly hitherto, says: "Nine tenths of the young criminals sent to the penitentiaries have enjoyed school advantages, but three fourths of them have never learned to do an honest stroke of work. Our children have their poor little heads crammed full of all kinds of impossible knowledge of names, of dates, and numbers of unintelligible rules, until there is no room left to hold any of the simple truths of honor and duty and morality." The military trainers declare that they obtain in the very infantile stages (five years) a better drill than they do or can get afterward, and Chad wick says: "The drill conduces to qualities of a high moral order and value, denoted by the terms discipline, patience, order, self-restraint, prompt and exact obedience. Children so trained learn to move quickly together and to pull together, and exert force with fewer hands."
It would thus seem that three of the most valuable years of a large majority of our children have hitherto been allowed to run to waste, and, as the educational policy of a country should be directed toward developing all its intellectual wealth, a movement which seems to be "in the air," that will eventually graft the kindergarten on to the common-school system of the whole country, should be hailed with joy by the patriot and philanthropist.
There are already thirty-nine in St. Louis in connection with the public school, thirty-eight in Philadelphia, twenty-two in Boston, twenty-two in Milwaukee, and from five to twelve in other cities. If a good many thousands of the unoccupied young women of the land would learn to be first-class kindergartners, and each, gathering a dozen or more of the neglected children now crowded out of the schools about themselves, and bestow some of their unused capacity for "mothering" upon them, what a prophylactic it would be against the corrupting "reformatory" in later years, and perhaps the penitentiary!
Now that really wise and discriminating educators affirm that, in the time beyond the kindergarten years, the use of the hand is not antagonistic to intellectual achievement, but rather promotive of it, we are beginning to hear the phrase manual training on every hand, the more because that, for successful puericulture as a factor in national life, we must, as Chad wick says, "add to the science of the physiologist and the psychologist that of the political economist, by whom man is regarded as an intelligent productive force"; and in another stage to which we are advancing that of the general use of machinery Jules Simon defines man as "an intelligent director of productive force, valuable to the extent and quality of its yield." Five thousand persons are killed by steam power and machinery in England and Wales annually. Sir William Fairbairn says: "These deaths are mostly occasioned by the ignorance or clumsiness of the hands to whom machines were intrusted; occurring singly as they do, and making monotonously similar newspaper paragraphs, we become brutalized and fail to take in the enormity of the destruction." America could show no better record; it is as if ten times the number of persons who make up both Houses of Congress should be brought together and visibly blown to pieces, scalded, and crushed, by bodily clumsiness and defective training. In England, for lack of the kindergarten or infant school, fifteen hundred children are scalded or burned to death each year, and probably more in America.
What is manual training? It is the subjugation of the hand and arm (an appendage of the head) to the direction of the brain, so that they shall touch some definite point, or exert some definite measured force, in obedience to the will, at the exact instant desired.
When should it begin; and what are likely to be its effects on the common weal?
The human hand is, of all instruments, the most wonderful. Sixty years ago Sir Charles Bell, the great anatomist, who discovered that the nerve filaments of sensation are distinct from those of motion, wrote a volume on The Hand, its Mechanism and Endowments, as evincing Design. In the intervening years so much has been learned of the relation of the nervous elements to the muscular fibers which they animate and control, and so much of the effects of the interaction of the brain and hand in those processes which we call "reflex," that another and most interesting volume might now be written on the hand in these aspects. It has been definitely ascertained that there are certain limited areas of the brain which control and direct the motions of certain limbs and no other; and as in the production of certain definite motions—e. g., those used in sewing or piano-playing—this definite related area of the brain is called into exercise, why may not its repeatedly being aroused to action promote its growth and perfection as surely as exercise of the blacksmith's muscle causes its growth and the perfection of its finely compacted fibers?
But, speculations aside, experience proves that the education of the hand can be begun at three years in the kindergarten, so that the child, whose supple and growing fingers have been taught to move in definite directions for definite ends, has at six a long start in manual dexterity ahead of the child whose maturing joints have been neglected. Our great-grandmothers taught their daughters to make "fine shirts for papa," neatly and thoroughly, at what seems to us an incredibly early age; and now that the hand as an element in human development is again being discovered, it is interesting to find that the highest specimens of plain sewing, shown as "prize exhibits" in the public schools where sewing is taught, is a tiny pair of old-fashioned shirt sleeves, made with straight, doubled and stitched wristbands, gussets overhanded on and felled, and neat gathers, made by the formula "skip four, take up two," and "smoothed" secundem artem. The girl who never uses a needle till twelve years old can not become a facile seamstress. Every one is familiar with the early age at which professional acrobats commence the training of their children. There may be an inherited muscular aptitude, but the parents do not rely upon that to make their son into an "infant prodigy." No one needs be told that musical performers must get the music "into their fingers" before they are stiffened and full-grown. These persons illustrate best of all the subtle, inexplicable connection between brain and hand. What undivided attention does the neophyte give to the striking of each separate note on the piano. Those who have listened to much "practicing" know how tiresome it is, until by unremitting iteration and repetition there comes a day when, lo! the fingers glide over the keys, touching each minutest fraction of a note perfectly—each in obedience to its own nervous impulse—while perhaps the performer is answering your questions on an entirely irrelevant subject. Mozart had absorbed a knowledge of music by listening to the lessons given his sister Maria, and had undoubtedly experimented by himself till at four he played the piano with ease and expression; and his father having given him a small violin at six, he learned by himself how to play it, so that before he was seven he played his part in a trio, reading at sight without mistakes or hesitation. The musicians certainly know the value of manual training and give a fresh emphasis to the old adage "practice makes perfect." Rev. Dr. Parkhurst, in commenting on the accuracy of aim with which David's stone "smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead," an aim that presents itself to many minds as supernaturally aided, said: "But it wasn't Ms first stone; he had practiced while out there on the plains of Bethlehem watching his father's sheep, and the unerring shot was the legitimate result of long training."
There is another aspect in which the introduction of machinery needs to be considered by his country's well-wisher. In the Boston Conference on Manual Training, Colonel C. W. Larned, of West Point, said: "There are altogether too few men in the world who are skillful to do with their hands—not to talk, or to write, or to imitate—but to perform with skilled faculties; the eye of that much-traduced creature, the average man, is becoming more and more dull and indiscriminating, the hand increasinglu unapt and inexpert. The more machinery and the artificialities of life relieve the individual from the responsibilities of physical action, the more the faculties will suffer from atrophy, for the reign of the machine has a dulling effect upon the general acuteness of the physical faculties that must be progressively felt, unless education systematically counteracts its influence; and it is the function of industrial training to do this for the hand-worker."
But the greatest injury which comes to the body politic through neglect of training in the most impressionable years is the failure to impart moral ideas, and to secure habitual obedience to moral laws—lack of character-building. The half-time schools of England have been so long in operation that their statistics furnish conclusions of the highest value; and, that book-learning is no guaranty of the moral worth of its possessor, look at the criminal returns for London for one year. The education of some was "superior"; among the criminals there were more than a thousand clerks, forty-two lawyers, and many more who had received the usual middle-class, long-time education. The appearance of a half-timer trained on the mixed principle of physical and mental training is exceedingly rare, that of persons from some of the religious denominations equally so showing the thoroughness of their moral teaching; while the governor of one prison said, "The greatest rascal I have in custody can write out our Lord's prayer in seven languages." The ancient Jews—while still living in Palestine—had a maxim, "He who does not teach his son a trade teaches him to be a thief." Mr. Chadwick collected some facts that should bring great encouragement to those who have been moved to labor for the salvation of the slum-born children of the criminal classes. It was shown that in some of the long-time middle-class schools twenty per cent of the pupils were disqualified from obtaining positions by misconduct; while among pupils of low parentage in good half-time schools, these dismal failures averaged only two or three per cent; and that, too, where, before the establishment of such schools, the average had formerly been as high as sixty; and a manager of one of the district half-time schools stated that he had had cases of habitual criminality to treat that in a few months a great alteration in their characters had taken place through their industrial training. I asked if, say, a hundred such were committed to your charge, how many could you undertake to send to the good?" He said, "With fair support, I would undertake to send ninety per cent to the good."
Under the restraints of separate confinement in the prison the thoughts of the young criminal are not compunctious visitings for wrong-doing, but of his ill luck, and the chances of escaping 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 several years; "but it was to another woman's enthusiasm and her private munificence that the cause was to owe its conquering impulse. In 1877 Mrs. Quincy A. Shaw opened two; and from time to time others were added, till in 1883 she had established in Boston and its vicinity thirty-one. In 1887 the Boston School Board, having become convinced of their value, incorporated fourteen as part of the public-school system, and others have been gradually added, till now it has thirty-one, with an attendance of nearly two thousand children. But this children's crusade is by no means confined to Boston; there are kindergartens and manual training schools in St. Louis, in Philadelphia, in San Francisco, and, in short, they are taking root all over the country. Nowhere are they so much needed as in New York, where there is annually so much ignorance dumped from abroad; but, until there is not a single score of neglected, untaught children left unreached by this beneficent agency, let us hear no more wailings over superfluous womanhood. Where is the practical philanthropist who desires to leave noble men and women as his monument, who will supply the funds needed to rescue these children, while the municipal authorities are waiting to be convinced of the utility of not opening the stable-door at all, when thieves are about?
If there is such a waiting benefactor of his kind, there is plenty of accumulated experience to guide him in the choice of instruments. Lest those who have failed in other fields should fancy that here is a niche that they can fill, let them understand that it needs a high order of talent to succeed here. Mr. Chadwick says, "Those who have given earnest study to primary education are aware that the highest training power should be applied in the most formative period the infant-class"; and in the report of the Boston conference we read, "One strong feature of Mrs. Shaw's management, perhaps the one which raised the educational value of the Boston kindergartens, was the extreme care exercised in the selection of teachers"; and whenever the kindergarten is to win its way, this care must be exercised. In 1883 she induced two kindergartners of St. Louis, each excelling in a special line, to come and give advanced courses to her teachers, and these were supplemented by lectures, teachers' meetings, etc.
Manual training—still in the dawn of its development has come, and come to stay. It will enhance the respect due to honest labor, and go far to cure the disease of "millionism" from which we are just now suffering; and those who look to the Scriptures for guidance will remember that the brilliant reason er and follower of the carpenter's son, St. Paul, was a tent-maker, who called the elders of Ephesus to witness that "these hands have ministered to my necessities, and to them that were with me."