Number of boys who will enter
Metal trades 8
Building trades 7
Printing trades 1
Other trades 2
Semi-skilled and unskilled industrial occupations 17
The analysis can be carried still further, for these trade groups are by no means homogeneous. The building trades, for example, include over 20 distinct trades, a number of which have little in common with the others as to methods of work and technical content.
At this point it becomes necessary to take cognizance of certain administrative factors which have a marked bearing on the problem. They relate to the organization of classes in elementary schools and the cost of teaching. In a school of 1,000 pupils there would be at least five separate classes for the seventh and eighth grades. The 35 boys who need industrial training are not all found in a single class, but are distributed more or less evenly throughout the five classrooms, that is, there are approximately seven in each class. A differentiated course under these conditions is difficult if not impossible. In a few of the Cleveland elementary schools the departmental system of teaching is in use. Under this plan something might be done, were it not that the total number of pupils requiring instruction relating specifically to the industrial trades is too small to justify the expense necessary for equipment, material, and special instruction required for such training. This is true as regards even an industrial course of the most general kind, while provision for particular trades is entirely out of the question. The machinist’s trade employs more men than any other occupation in the city, yet the number of seventh and eighth grade boys in the average elementary school who will probably become machinists does not exceed five or six. Not over two boys are likely to enter employment in the printing industry. The smaller trades, such as pattern making, cabinet making, molding, and blacksmithing are represented by not more than one boy each.
A possible alternative is the plan now followed in the teaching of manual training whereby the boys of the upper grades in various elementary schools are sent to one centrally located for a short period of instruction each week. The principal objection to this plan is that the amount of time now given is insufficient to accomplish much in an industrial course, nor can it be materially increased without seriously interfering with the work in other subjects.