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DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION.
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, July 18, 1889. The Department of Industrial Education met in the First Cumberland Presbyterian Church, at 3 P. M.
The President being absent, C. M. Woodward, of St. Louis, was appointed to preside.
On motion of Olin H. Landreth, of Vanderbilt University, it was voted that the exercises appointed for the afternoon be postponed till the next session, and that the Department proceed to the discussion of such matters of interest as might be proposed by members.
The discussion was opened by J. H. Brown, of Nashville, who proposed the question: "What is the best method of introducing manual training into the schools of a city ?”
C. M. WOODWARD: The first thing to be done is to determine exactly what shall be included in the proposed course, and then to secure a teacher who will take up the work with ability and earnestness.
A. J. RICKOFF, of New York: The course adopted in introducing manual training into “The Workingman's School,” of New York City, was this: For the first three years no additional room was required. The apparatus and material used were quite inexpensive, consisting of paper squares, triangles, and circles, with a pair of scissors for each child the first year; modelingclay, a graduated rule, a try-square, a cheap pair of dividers, and a claychisel, the second year; paste-boards of different kinds, drawing-boards on which to cut paper, a pair of compasses, and a knife sharpened only at the point, completed the outfit for the third year. Thus for the first three years there was little expense. On the fourth year and thereafter the pupils were taught in a separate room, a workshop being provided. But even this need not be very expensive. The main thing is to get a good teacher. One who has a knowledge of wood-working tools, provided he is a good teacher, can start the work. In time it will so commend itself to the community that funds will not be lacking, and a thoroughly competent teacher may be employed.
MR. BARTON, of Peru, Illinois: Much of the work spoken of by Mr. Rickoff is done in all good schools; but in speaking of manual training, I contemplate shop-work for children. The girls should not be forgotten. I have found their instruction in this department productive of excellent results. A gentleman of Peru donated a sufficient sum to purchase the needed tools and apparatus for carrying on a carving class, which was very successful.
MR. WHITE, of Carthage, Missouri: I think that much of the work spoken of as appropriate for primary schools has already been introduced into the schools of the West. The question I would raise is this: "What shall be done for the fourth and fifth years and thereafter?”
MR. WOODWARD: Besides the use of tools appropriate to wood and metal work, much may be done in directing the attention of pupils to the phenomena of nature—or, in other words, giving instruction in natural history and in the rudiments of some of the departments of physics.
Mr. J. D. WALTERS: Pupils ready for the high school should be capable of using the tools ordinarily used by mechanics. They should work till they feel some degree of fatigue; it should not be mere play. Pupils from eight to thirteen years of age should be taught the simple rules of orthographic projection. I would recommend carving in cast plaster of paris. All this to prepare the pupils for mechanical work.
MR. BARTON: Would you introduce mechanical before free-hand drawing?
MR. WALTERS: I would.
MR. WALTERS: Yes, for the reason that mechanical drawing is easier than free-hand drawing.
MR. WOODWARD: The question of the precedence of free-hand or mechanical drawing has already received much attention.
GEORGE CHATTERTON, of Florida: What is the best means of advertising or spreading information in regard to manual training?
J. D. CRAWFORD, of Pennsylvania: I recommend the exhibition of the work of manual-training schools when such work can be secured. I have succeeded in exciting considerable interest wherever I have presented the subject.
E. W. BEMIS, of Vanderbilt University: Having received leave of absence, I spent some weeks in lecturing upon manual training in different parts of the South. I found much interest manifested in the subject wherever I went.
MR. CHATTERTON: How shall the demand for manual training be met?
MR. CRAWFORD: No more should be expected of manual training, in the way of being self-sustaining, than of instruction in penmanship, arithmetic, or any other school study.