The analysis of the industry shows that in each occupation or job there is a definite amount of knowledge which must be acquired by the efficient worker. A study of this analysis and of the examples of technical knowledge needed by the worker at different points in the industry will show that no such thing as a general course is possible. In every case the character of the instruction should be such that it will answer a definite need of the employee. What this instruction should be in specific cases can be settled only, on the one hand, by a thorough analysis of the occupation to determine what demands it makes upon the workers, and on the other, by a careful study of the workers themselves to ascertain how far they have been unable to meet these demands without assistance. Lessons can then be organized dealing with such subject matter as individuals or groups have failed to grasp, the lack of which limits their efficiency or restricts their usefulness. It can readily be seen that this instruction will cover a wide range of subjects, from the use of fractions needed by checkers and salesgirls in yard goods sections, to the special technical knowledge of fine furs required by the salesperson who handles this merchandise.
The method by which this instruction can best be given is in a series of short unit courses. In every case the length of the course is to be determined by the subject matter. For instance, two one-half hour lessons may be a “course,” when this time is sufficient for the necessary teaching.
The group or class to which this instruction is given might be made up of those who need the same technical knowledge, although they might expect to make a different application of this instruction. For instance, the unit course on silks might be given to a group composed of salespeople from the silk section, the waists and gowns section, and the section of men’s neckwear.
The report gives detailed examples of the kinds of technical knowledge needed in the different departments of the store. It maintains that such instruction cannot be successfully given by regular school teachers. As in other industries the teacher needs actual experience in the occupation for which training is given. Academic training and teaching experience are desirable and valuable, but among the qualifications demanded of a teacher of this kind they are of secondary importance.
The final chapter of the report contains valuable instructions for young persons who desire to secure positions in retail trade. These instructions cover such matters as work papers, methods of securing a position, and requirements for employment in various kinds of department store work.