Wage Earning and Education eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 130 pages of information about Wage Earning and Education.

The whole situation is changed, however, when we gather in a central school all these future artisans who have decided that they wish to prepare for specific trades.  Under these conditions classes would be sufficiently large so that specialized training could be given and special equipment provided.  This work would best be undertaken in a school entirely devoted to the purpose, but such courses might be organized in connection with the present technical high schools.  This arrangement would be less desirable and probably give inferior results.  The important point, however, is not so much the organization or curriculum for these classes, it is the fundamental fact that trade classes can be wisely organized only when a sufficiently large number of pupils can be gathered in one place so as to make the work efficient and economical.

The effectiveness of the trade-preparatory training recommended would be greatly increased if the upper limit of the compulsory attendance period for boys should be placed at 16 years instead of at 15 as it is now.

4. Trade-Extension Classes for Apprentices. At the present time the technical high schools offer evening classes for apprentices in the building trades.  About one-seventh of the apprentices of the city are enrolled in these classes.  In the main they are full grown men.  In general they do not want shop work related to their own trades, but prefer instead to enroll in courses in drawing.

The considerations already presented bear in minor degree on the problem of providing evening instruction for trade apprentices.  The essential for efficient work is that a sufficient number of pupils be brought together so as to make it possible to organize specialized classes in different kinds of work that the pupils want and need.  So long as there are only 50 apprentices enrolled in the entire city, and these represent a number of trades, many different stages of advancement, and a variety of needs, truly efficient work will be impossible.  Better conditions can be brought about only through the cooeperation of the unions, the employers, and the school people.

5. Trade-Extension Work for Journeymen. The evening technical schools now maintain shop classes and drawing classes for workers in the building trades.  Less than one per cent of the workers in these trades are enrolled in these classes.  There is little differentiation in the school work offered to helpers, apprentices, and journeymen.  The result is that the work is much less efficient than it might well be.  It cannot be rendered much more efficient than it is until the classes are increased in size and as a result the work differentiated and specialized.  This type of improvement will result only from putting the night school work in the hands of skilful and well paid directors and teachers who bring to it a degree of energy, enterprise, ingenuity, and adaptability that it is unreasonable to expect and impossible to get from day school teachers who have already given the best that is in them to their regular classes and are giving a fatigued margin of work and attention to their night school pupils.

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Wage Earning and Education from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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