THE PROBLEM OF TRAINING
The report maintains that up to the end of the compulsory attendance period school training preparatory to entering the printing trades must be of the most general sort, due to the fact that in the average elementary school the number of boys who are likely to become printers is too small to form special classes. For example, in an elementary school of 1,000 pupils the number of boys 12 years old and over to whom instruction in printing would be of value from the standpoint of future vocational utility, would probably not exceed two. While admitting the advantages of the junior high school for the purposes of vocational training, the report points out that even in a school where only pupils of the upper grades are admitted, the number who are likely to become printers is still too small to warrant special instruction. In a junior high school of 1,000 pupils not more than nine boys are likely to become printers.
The report recommends a general industrial course during the junior high school period. What the boys need at this time is practice in the application of mathematics, drawing, and elementary science to industrial problems. Shop equipment should be selected with this object in mind. It is doubtful whether it should include a printing shop, for while such a shop would be useful to the few boys who will become printers, it would be of little value in training for other industries. The report suggests as subjects which should be included in the general industrial course practice in handling and assembling machinery, the study of color harmony, and the principles of design in connection with the work in drawing, the use of printing shop problems in applied mathematics, and thorough instruction in spelling, punctuation, and the division of words. It also recommends the course of industrial information referred to in previous chapters.
The establishment of a two year printing course in a separate vocational school is recommended to meet the need for specialized instruction from the end of the compulsory period to the apprentice entering age. The printing trades are relatively small and it is only by concentrating in a single school plant all the boys who may wish to enter them that specialized training can be made practicable. In this way it would be possible to secure classes of from 60 to 100 boys each for such trades as composition and presswork. The report emphasizes the need for instruction in trade theory as against practice on specific operations. It points out that the boys will have plenty of opportunity after they go to work to acquire speed and manual skill, while they have little chance, under modern shop conditions, to obtain an understanding of the relation of drawing, physics, chemistry, mathematics, and art to their work.