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Wage Earning and Education eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 130 pages of information about Wage Earning and Education.
the end of the eighth grade.  The report points out the impossibility of effective vocational instruction in elementary schools on account of the prohibitive cost per pupil for both equipment and teaching, and endorses the recently adopted junior high school plan.  This form of organization has the great advantage of concentrating in large groups the boys who are old enough to make a beginning in prevocational training, and through the departmental system of teaching offers facilities for differentiation of courses to meet their varying needs.

Whatever their cultural value, the present manual training courses in woodwork have little relation to the requirements of any metal working trade, except pattern making, in which some of the same tools are used.  No manual training work in metal is offered in the elementary and junior high schools.

The course recommended for the junior high school lays especial emphasis on applied mathematics, mechanical drawings, practice in assembling and taking apart machines, and the utilization of the shop as a laboratory for teaching industrial science.  The report maintains that the object of such a course should be the development of industrial intelligence through the application of mathematical and mechanical principles to the solution of concrete problems, rather than the teaching of specific operations and skill in the use of tools.  In mechanical drawing the ability to understand and interpret drawings should be given more importance than the ability to make drawings.  Few workmen are ever called on to draw, while the ability to read plans and sketches is always in demand.  It is also recommended that boys who do not expect to take a full high school course or who intend to leave at the end of the compulsory period should devote at least a period each week to the study of economic and working conditions in industrial and commercial occupations.

With respect to the technical high schools the report holds that these schools are primarily training schools for the higher positions of industry.  They undoubtedly offer the best instruction obtainable in the city for the ambitious boy who wishes to prepare himself for supervisory and managerial positions in industry or for a college engineering course.

The establishment of a separate two-year vocational school, equipped for giving instruction in all the larger industrial trades, is recommended.  The number of boys in the public schools between the ages of 14 and 16 who are likely to enter the metal trades is between 700 and 800, of whom from 500 to 600 will become machinists or machine tool operators.  An enrollment of much less than this number is sufficient to justify the installation of good shop equipment and the employment of a corps of teachers who have had the special training necessary for this kind of work.  It should be possible to form a class in pattern making and foundry work of from 80 to 100 boys, and one of at least 30 in blacksmithing.  Boiler making could be taught in connection with sheet metal work.

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