Wage Earning and Education eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 130 pages of information about Wage Earning and Education.
Occupation                                      Number
Attending college                                   111
Draftsmen                                            51
Electricians                                         33
Machinists                                           32
Chemists                                              8
Pattern makers                                        7
Cabinet makers                                        6
Printers                                              3
Foundrymen                                            1
Unclassified                                         32
——­
Total                                             284

The output of the schools falls into two main divisions:  those who leave at the end of the second year or earlier, and those who graduate.  The records show that most of the pupils who reach the third year complete the course, but nearly half drop out during the first and second years.  The benefit they obtain from these two years’ attendance is problematical.  The course was designed on the basis of four years’ attendance, and the work of the first two years is to a considerable degree a preparation for that of the last two.

The principals of both schools are fully alive to the disadvantages of the course for the large number of pupils who drop out within a year or two, and admit that such students would derive greater benefit from more practical instruction aimed directly toward preparation for the industrial trades.  Both believe that the only practicable solution is a two-year trade course in a separate school, covering a much wider range of shop activities than the present high school course.

To the only alternative—­the institution of a short course within the technical schools to be conducted either as a part of or simultaneously with the four year course—­they present objections of considerable weight.  They point out that a preparatory course for the trades and a preparatory course with college as the goal differ not only in length but in kind.  The work in mathematics for the future civil engineer, for example, must conform to college entrance standards and involves an amount of study that is quite unnecessary for the boy whose aim is to become a carpenter or machinist.  The first needs a thorough course in algebra, geometry, and trigonometry; the second needs industrial arithmetic, with only such applications of higher mathematics as may be of use to him in his trade.  The same principle holds with respect to other subjects.

What boys who expect to enter industrial occupations most need at this period is instruction that will be of practical value to them for future wage earning.  It is doubtful whether high school courses which have been formulated in the first instance to prepare pupils for a college course can furnish such instruction and it is still more doubtful whether the trade training required by the future mechanic and the broader preparation required for the professions can be given effectively in the same school.

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Wage Earning and Education from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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