The Arts and Crafts Movement in America, Part 1:-- Its Initial Stages in Manual Education, 1880-1900:--

[under construction 5-27-09]


An attempt to correct the inflexibility of the Russian and Sloyd systems. the Arts and Crafts -- introduced into American schools about the same time as the Russian and Sloyd systems -- placed greater emphasis on creativity and beauty rather than on the acquisition of skills.

As criticism of the Russian and Sloyd systems grew, many of the ideas of the Arts and Crafts Movement were integrated into the manual arts programs. Arts and Crafts teachhing emphasized the use of many types of materials other than wood, such as leather and metal. Arts and Crafts encouraged the student to be creative through such things as modeling, carving, and drawing.The result: many of the old formal skill exercises were dropped from the programs of younger students.

The Contributions to Manual Training by Charles Godfrey Leland and J Liberty Tadd


The Arts and Crafts Movement was introduced into Manual Education in America United States through the work of Charles Godfrey Leland and J. Liberty Tadd.

A distinct feature of the Arts and Crafts Movement is the emphasis it put upon the aesthetic side of the work, a marked distinction when the Movement is compared with the Russian or Sloyd systems, both of which stressed the skill.

The interest generated among manual arts teachers in design is evident in the number of papers and discussions on the topic in the reports of the National Education Association and of organizations for teachers of art and manual training.

Because of the volume and the variation in interest among educators, both administrators in school systems and teaching faculty in higher education, I have collected many documents in the following pages, but with focus exclusively on woodworking:

Critical Thinking in the Manual Training Curriculum

Interesting, because of the field, Manual Training, from the late 19th century, from evidence we derive from such writers on education as Calvin Woodward, John Runkle, Charles Godfrey Leland, and J Liberty Tadd, Nicholas Murray Butler, and Felix Adler, the motives existed among numerous educators for injecting critical thinking into the curriculum of Manual Training.

...In the 1880s, educators who supported manual training argued that it was not "trade training," or preparation for particular forms of work. They argued, instead, that students would develop hand and eye coordination by learning to use tools for working with wood and metal. The skills gained through manual training would be beneficial for all students, whatever their vocational destination in life. In effect, Manual Training should co-exist as instruction alongside disciplinary instruction

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Charles Richards' Unique Insights

1897: Society of Arts and Crafts (Boston) mission statement, "The Prinicples of Handicraft":

I. Motives. The motives of the true Craftsman are the love of good and beautiful work as applied to useful service, and the need of making an adequate livelihood. In no case can it be primarily the love of gain.

II. Conditions. The conditions of true Handicraft are natural aptitude, thorough technical training, and a just appreciation of standards. The unit of labor should be an intelligent man, whose ability is used as a whole, and not subdivided for commercial purposes. He should exercise the faculty of design in connection with manual work, and manual work should be part of his training in design.

III. Artistic Co-operation. When the designer and the workman are not united in the same person, they should work together, each teaching the other his own special knowledge, so that the faculties of the designer and the workman may tend to become united in each.

IV. Social Co-operation. Modern Craftsmanship requires that the idea of patronage be superseded by that of reciprocal service and co-operation.

V. Results. The results aimed at are the training of true craftsmen, the developing of individual character in connection with artistic work, and the raising of standards of beauty in objects of use.

The first American Arts and Crafts Exhibition opened on April 5, 1897, at Copley Hall featuring over 1000 objects made by 160 craftsmen, half of whom were women. Spporters of this exhibit included such luminaries as Langford Warren -- founder of Harvard's School of Architecture -- the social reformers, Arthur Astor Carey and Edwin Mead, and Will Bradley, graphic designer.

The huge success of this exhibition led to the incorporation of The Society of Arts and Crafts, on June 28, 1897, with a mandate to "develop and encourage higher standards in the handicrafts." The 21 founders were interested in more than sales, and focused on the relationship of designers within the commercial world, encouraging artists to produce work with the highest quality of workmanship and design.

When I began to teach in 1858 I sometimes heard it said that it would be a good thing if boys could be taught the use of tools in school. I regarded the notion at the time as a visionary one. The school had no business with tools; they belonged to the home, to the period of apprenticeship, to the workshop. It would be the wildest extravagance for the schools to take them up. What tools should they teach? What trades should take precedence? What should be done with the girls meanwhile ? Does education lie that way? So I put the matter aside as a harmless speculation.

Frank A. Hill, Frank A Hill The Manual Training Idea Self-Culture 1900, page 293. See Sources

This mission statement was expanded into a credo:

This Society was incorporated for the purpose of promoting artistic work in all branches of handicraft. It hopes to bring Designers and Workmen into mutually helpful relations, and to encourage workmen to execute designs of their own. It endeavors to stimulate in workmen an appreciation of the dignity and value of good design; to counteract the popular impatience of Law and Form, and the desire for over-ornamentation and specious originality. It will insist upon the necessity of sobriety and restraint, or ordered arrangement, of due regard for the relation between the form of an object and its use, and of harmony and fitness in the decoration put upon it.

The membership of the Society is divided into three classes: Craftsmen, Masters and Associates. The grade of Craftsmen is held to include designers, as well as those practising some branch of applied decorative art. The title and privilege of Master lie within the grant of the Council alone, and are conferred only upon a person previously admitted to membership as a Craftsman, who shall have clearly established by contributions to the Society's exhibitions, or otherwise, a standard of excellence approved by the Council. Finally, persons interested in the aims of the Society, but not habitually employed as designers or craftsmen, may join the Society as Associates.

[Mission statement published in The Craftsman]

During this Arts and Crafts period we can note a shift away from teacher-dictated exercises and models toward a greater freedom in allowing the pupil to select and design articles of personal interest. In some cases creative expression was permitted the pupil in several materials other than wood, iron, or steel.

Many of the teaching methods and devices, such as demonstration, discussion, excursions, models, and notebooks, were typical of the former movements discussed. During this period, however, strong emphasis was put upon the correlation of drawing and construction work with each other and with the other school subjects as a means of motivating and vitalizing them.

Rotation of the pupil through at least four types of work in the school shop was also a new departure in practice. It was during this period that the term manual "arts" was suggested as being more descriptive of the type of shopwork then becoming prominent.

Passages above owe much to the discussion of Stombaugh, on the "technological" side of manual training, and to Boris, on the art/aesthetic/emotional side of "manual training" -- the mode of learning today called "constructivism".Written in 1936 -- the year I was born -- and typical of pre-war II doctoral dissertations, Stombaugh couches his entire narrative in "objective" prose, very "clinical", bereft of any references to passion, emotion, or aesthetics. Writing in 1986, Boris, on the other hand, -- albeit writing in a post-modernist era as well as style -- injects her narrative with more "subjective" references, to passion, to emotion, and to aesthetics, and thus stands out starkly in contrast with Stombaugh, even if they are describing the same Manual Training program.

Sources: See also Vaughn and Mays, pages 35-37; Lewis Flint Anderson, History of Manual and Industrial School Education New York: Appleton, 1926; Lawrence A. Cremin, The Transformation of the School, 1961 (not online); Herbert M. Kliebard, Schooled to Work: Vocationalism and the American Curriculum, New York: Teachers College Press, 1999 (not online); Ray Stombaugh, pages 103-113; Bennett, 1937, volume 2, 427-429; Lawrence A. Cremin, The Transformation of the School, 1961 (not online);G. E. Martin, & J. F. Leutkemeyer, "The movements that led to contemporary industrial arts education", in G. E. Martin, ed., Industrial arts education: Retrospect, Prospect American Council of Industrial Arts Teacher Educators, 28th yearbook. Bloomington, Illinois: McKnight, 1979; Eileen Boris, Art and Labor, 1986, ch 5; Herbert M. Kliebard, Schooled to Work: Vocationalism and the American Curriculum, New York: Teachers College Press, 1999 (not online); Albert A. Anderson, "Charles Godfrey Leland, Pioneer Craft Educator", in Albert A Anderson and Paul E Bolin, eds, History of Art Education: Proceedings of the Third Penn State International Symposium, October 12-15, 1995, pages 367-374

The Arts and Crafts Movement

The third movement contributing to the development of contem­porary industrial arts education in America, it began in England with John Ruskin, William Morris, and others. In England, it was an elitist reaction against the ugliness and poor design char­acteristics of manufactured products that dominated the latter half of the 19th century -- the , Victorian period.

At bottom, England's Arts and Crafts movement was a (futile) attempt to restore the canons of craftsmanship and art claimed to have prevailed during the medieval period, with guild methods of producing useful articles.

Rejecting the machine-produced articles of mass production, proponents of the movement -- especially Ruskin and Morris -- stressed the aesthetic value of handicraft. They pointed to the badly designed, shodily constructed industrial products. Eschewing machines entirely, they advocated hand production as the only true art. (The Arts and Crafts movement in England is explored extensively here.)

The arts and crafts movement was introduced into the United States through the work of Charles Leland. While he was in England for roughly a decade in the 1870s, Leland studied under William Morris. After his return to the United States, Charles Leland in 1880 established in Philadelphia an experimental school reflecting the influence of the arts and crafts movement. The school, which had opened with the permis­sion of the Board of Education, proved successful and was incorporated the following year into the public school system as the Philadelphia Public School of Industrial Art.

Upon Leland's return to England a few years later, the Philadelphia school was continued by his colleague J. Liberty Tadd, who further popularized the aesthetic dimension in shop work. The new emphasis on "design or art in construction, and construction in art" is a theme that "led many associations of art and manual train­ing teachers to organize or combine into common groups. This combin­ing of shop work and art instruction was a major emphasis of the arts and crafts movement and influenced manual training teachers to be conscious of design and proper construction — an awareness that marked the beginning of the movement later known as manual arts."

(Source: Lewis Flint Anderson, History of manual and industrial school education New York: D. Appleton and company, 1926, page 190; Ray Stombaugh, 1936 Survey of the Movements Culminating in Industrial Arts Education in Secondary Schools (Teachers College, Columbia University, Contributions to Education, No 67, 1936)

John Ruskin and William Morris Were Popular in America

We can imagine Gustav Stickley's days in England as a tourist with a serious purpose: to see the furniture and buildings he had only known in periodical articles before this trip. The ideals of Ruskin and Morris which he had been absorbing for years were given visible form in the various places he could have visited in and near London. He could see furniture by Morris and Company Heal and Son, Liberty and Company Mackmurdo, Voysey, and Baillie Scott. The ideal of the integrated interior would have been reinforced through English example.

Gustav Stickley's European journey served to reinforce his developing design philosophy, which was based on Ruskin and Morris. His travels were valuable in that he had the chance to see what was being produced rather than simply reading about new designs. He may have met the men responsible for those new designs, establishing personal contacts which would be useful to him in the future. The European experience was of vital importance to him; in a design sense, it literally transformed him.

He came home to Syracuse, New York, inspired. He started his own furniture manufacturing company in 1899. He later wrote a short account of this period:

In 1900 I stopped using the standard patterns and finishes, and began to make all kinds of furniture after my own designs, independently of what other people were doing, or of any necessity to fit my designs, woods and finishes to any other factory For about a year I experimented with more or less fantastic forms.... My frequent journeys to Europe ... interested me much in the decorative use of plant forms, and I followed the suggestion.... After experimenting with a number of pieces, such as small tables giving in their form a con­ventionalized suggestion of such plants as the mallow, the sunflower and the pansey I abandoned the idea.... Conventionalized plant-forms are beautiful and fitting when used solely for decoration, but anyone who starts to make a piece of furniture with a decorative form in mind, starts at the wrong end. The sole consideration at the basis of design must be the thing itself and not its ornamentation. The Arts and Crafts movement was more nearly in harmony with what I had in mind, but even that did not involve a return to the sturdy and primitive forms that were meant for usefulness alone, and I began to work along the lines of a direct application of the funda­mental principles of structure to the designing and craftsmanship of my furniture.28

Source: MARY ANN SMITH, GUSTAV STICKLEY: The Craftsman SYRACUSE: SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY PRESS 1983, page 19, 29-30-- see notes in smith's file

Their books were issued and reprinted freequently. Societies, settlements, and university extension programs emerge, and reading groups followed their ideas devotedly.

Newspapers, libraries, and societies published reading lists to instruct Arts and Crafts enthusiasts as to where they could turn for enlightenment.

The American Civic Association's list, issued in 1906, suggested books by or about Morris, among them Hopes and Fears for Art and A Dream of John Ball;

also included was John Ruskin's influential Stones of Venice, as were a few studies of the Arts and Crafts movement in America.2

Reading lists tended to promote philosophy and ideals of the movement rather than instruction manuals about furnishing one's home.

However, books such as Charles Locke Eastlake's Hints on Household Taste (1868) were very popular and inspired manufacturers all over the country to adopt rectilinear, Gothic-inspired furniture designs.3

So prevalent were factory knockoffs, which adapted the style but not the spirit of Eastlake's designs, that in the fourth London edition of the book, the author denounced "American tradesmen [who are] continually advertising what they are pleased to call 'Eastlake' furniture, with the production of which I have had nothing whatever to do, and for the taste of which I should be very sorry to be considered responsible. "4

Eastlake's principles of structural integrity and "honest" construction were still in evidence decades after the publication of his book; for example, Gustav Stickley's use of butterfly joints on the back of a settle of about 1902 (no. 204) can be traced to a design in Hints on Household Taste (fig. 1).

Sources: Vaughn and Mays, 35-37; Ray Stombaugh, 1936, pages 103-113; G. Eugene Martin and Joseph F. Luetkemeyer,, "The Movements That Led To Contemporary Industrial Arts Education",INDUSTRIAL ARTS EDUCATION: RETROSPECT, PROSPECT; 28th yearbook 1979 American Council on Industrial Arts Teacher Education, pages ?

[include woodward's "fruits of manual training" and first paragraph of kliebard]

As the 19th century drew to a close, significant changes in traditional patterns of social life reshaped North American com­munities: rapid industrialization, city populations enlarged by rural to urban migration and immigration.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the new forms of education that emerged reflected, and/or shaped these changes in America's social life. As both protests and accommodations to the conditions of industrialization and urbanization of society, shifts in approaches to manual training were evident, with influences from the Arts and Crafts a prominent factor, but also including innovations in design and composition, picture study, the Kindergarten movement, and early experiments in Progressive Education.

Manual Training

Like industrial drawing, manual training was introduced into schools in response to calls for more "practical" forms of education. From the perspective of businessmen who supported it, manual training was a form of vocational education that would prepare students for work in mills and factories. From the perspective of educators, however, manual training was conceived as a form of general education.....

(Moreover, officials like Woodward and John D Runkle, president of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and -- like Woodward -- a promoter of the Russian system of teaching woodworking, were still sensitive to matters of what students learned in school, i.e., a sensitivity that matters of the mind, "critical thinking" skills, were considered by the general public to be important. Keep in mind, however, that even the concept, "critical thinking", does not enter scholarly vocabulary until at least the 1960s; before that, especially following the writing of John Dewey, critical thinking, as a concept in its own right, had other labels. We see Woodward articulate this value he attaches to thinking in the inline frame below, as he does throughout his writings, and by Charles Godfrey Leland and J Liberty Tadd.

manual eduation timeline 1876-1910 samuel_ritchey_1905a

Prevailing History of Critical Thinking in America

Currently, most histories of critical thinking in America argue that today's concept of the term originated with John Dewy's 1910, How We Think From 1910 to 1939, John Dewey and his use of the terms "reflective thinking" and inquiry" which he based on the scientific method, the critical thinking movement begun.

From 1940 to 1961, Edward M. Glaser, David H. Russell, and B. Othanel Smith broadened the meaning of the term "critical thinking" to include the examination of statements. From 1962 to 1979, the meaning of the term "critical thinking" narrowed, where the work of Robert H. Ennis, Karl O. Budmen, R. R. Allen and Robert K. Rott, and Edward D'Angelo excluded problem solving and the scientific method, including only the assessment of statements. However, with the contributions of Robert H. Ennis, John E. McPeck, Harvey Siegel, and Richard W. Paul, this narrowing of meaning was reversed, where the meaning of the term "critical thinking" broadened to include aspects of problem solving, which to experienced woodworkers, are definitely components of most, if not all, woodworking operations. For a brief, very brief, acount of the history of the concept, "critical thinking" click here )

However, from the late 19th century, from evidence we derive from such writers on education as Calvin Woodward, John Runkle, Charles Godfrey Leland, and J Liberty Tadd, the motives existed among numerous educators for injecting critical thinking into the curriculum.

1884, Calvin M. Woodward, "The Fruits of Manual Training", <strong><em>Popular Science Monthly</em></strong>

...In the 1880s, educators who supported manual training argued that it was not "trade training," or preparation for particular forms of work. They argued that students would develop hand and eye coordination by learning to use tools for working with wood and metal. The skills gained through manual training would be beneficial for all students, whatever their vocational destination in life (Lawrence A. Cremin, The Transformation of the School, 1961 (not online); Fisher, 1967; Herbert M. Kliebard, Schooled to Work: Vocationalism and the American Curriculum, New York: Teachers College Press, 1999 (not online); Stamp, 1970).

In the 1880s -- when manual training was first introduced into North American schools -- the idea of vocational education was resisted many educators. By the turn of the century, however, evidence of a shift in attitude is readily demonstrable.

Many educators now came to see not only manual training but also all of public schooling preparation for work. At the same time that views about the purpose of education were titling, the nature of work in industrial society was changing as well. With the development lam technology and assembly line methods of production, workers no longer needed the of knowledge and skills that might be developed through manual training programs. Instead of hand and eye coordination and qualities such as self-direction, the kinds of "skills" Industrial workers needed were an ability to follow orders and to perform simple, repetitive 10k0. Increasingly, educators joined businessmen in criticizing manual training at the turn of the century, not because it was vocational preparation, but because it was an anachronistic, outmoded form of vocational training in an industrial age (Lawrence A. Cremin, The Transformation of the School, 1961 (not online); Fisher, 1967; Herbert M. Kliebard, Schooled to Work: Vocationalism and the American Curriculum, New York: Teachers College Press, 1999 (not online);Marvin Lazerson, Origins of the Urban School: Public Education in Massachusetts, 1870-1915 Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1971.


Calvin M Woodward, calvin woodward The Fruits of Manual Training

Arts and Crafts

As manual training -- primarily those approaches to vocational education known as "the Russian System and the Sloyd System -- seemed increasingly outmoded to educators aware that shifts in education theory no longer viewed these approaches as viable for educating a vast, new immigrant population. Education officials who supported manual training initatives, but looked for alternatives, began to join forces with arts and crafts enthusiasts.

As we'll see below, in 1880s Philadelphia, a precedent for almagamating manual education with instruction in several art forms loomed a promising alternative. In 1881, Charles Godfrey Leland (1824-1903) opened the experimental Industrial Art School in Philadel­phia, to give grammar school students experience with what he called the The Minor Arts. The school's curriculum included classes in design, modeling, painting, pottery, embroidery, repousse, woodcarving, and carpentry (curiously, carpentry in not covered in the book).

Leland viewed instruction in crafts as a form of general vocational preparation. Rather than giving students specific skills that would prepare them for the particular trade, he held that crafts education taught students how to work. Leland's assistant J. Liberty Tadd (1854-1917) took over as director of the school in 1884, and the school Continued to be acclaimed a success under Tadd's guidance. The school served as a model for similar programs in other North American communities, as well as being recognized abroad ( Anderson, 1997; Baker, 1984; Stankiewicz, 2001).

Before establishing the Industrial Art School in Philadelphia, Leland lived for 10 years in Britain where he became enamored with the ideas of John Ruskin (1819-1900) and William Morris (1834-1896), leading figures in the British Arts and Crafts movement.

In the mid-19th century -- during Queen Victoria's reign -- the romantic idealist, Ruskin argued that a nation's moral character was reflected in the quality of its artistic pursuits. Morris implemented Ruskin's moral aesthetic to a craft ideal, holding there should be joy and dignity in labor, rather than the fractured, demeaning character of loll in modern capitalist society.(In 1880, Leland published The Minor Arts a book served as a guide to the "lost" crafts for arts and crafts enthusiasts in Britain and the United States. Alas, for readers interested in contemporary examples of woodworking, this book contains only text on woodcarving, but nothing on cabinetmaking or other forms of woodcraft.)

The Arts and Crafts movement in the United States flourished between 1900 and 1915.

Between 1900 and 1915, the ideas and ideals of the movement spread through arts and crafts societies, periodicals, and classes.

Instruction was offered in a variety of settings, including summer schools, design schools, and settlement houses, as well as public schools. Working people were part of the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain, but in the United States, the movement was predominately embraced by middle- and upper-classes.


This blunted the movement's social criticism and altered many of its central ideals. In the United States, advocates of arts and crafts included social reformers, tastemakers who focused on the appearance of objects, and those who saw arts and crafts as a hobby or leisure activity. Guiding ideals in the American Arts and Crafts movement included work, taste, and therapy (Amburgy, 1997; Boris, 1986; Lears, 1981).

Jane Addams (1860-1935) and Ellen Gates Starr (1860-1940) were among the social reformers concerned with work in American society. Addams and Starr were cofounders of Hull House, a widely acclaimed social settlement in Chicago. Whereas Starr believed it was important to change the nature of industrial work in order to restore what Morris called "joy in labor," Addams focused on changing workers' perceptions.4 In the Labor Museum at Hull House, workers could see demonstrations of traditional skills and displays of hand­crafted objects, and come away with a new understanding of the history of labor that im­parted significance to their own positions in the modern workforce. In seeking to change the way workers viewed their work rather than the work itself, Addams' position was one of accommodation to modern conditions of labor (Amburgy, 1990; Lears, 1981; Stankiewicz, 1989). Jane Addams (1860-1935) and Ellen Gates Starr (1860-1940) were among the social reformers concerned with work in American society. Addams and Starr were cofounders of Hull House, a widely acclaimed social settlement in Chicago. Whereas Starr believed it was important to change the nature of industrial work in order to restore what Morris called "joy in labor," Addams focused on changing workers' perceptions.4 4Starr's views on contemporary work are set out in "Art and Labor," an article published in the collection Hull-House Maps and Papers in 1895. Addams' views appear in "The Art-Work Done by Hull-House, Chicago," an article published in the July 1895 issue of Forum. Addams also discusses the significance of art for working people in her books Democracy and Social Ethics, published in 1902, and Twenty Years at Hull-House, published in 1910. In the Labor Museum at Hull House, workers could see demonstrations of traditional skills and displays of hand­crafted objects, and come away with a new understanding of the history of labor that im­parted significance to their own positions in the modern workforce. In seeking to change the way workers viewed their work rather than the work itself, Addams' position was one of accommodation to modern conditions of labor (Amburgy, 1990; Lears, 1981; Stankiewicz, 1989). Many of the arts and crafts societies focused on taste. The Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, founded in 1897, was an example. Although there were conflicts between social reformers and tastemakers in the early years of the organization, the conflicts were resolved when a change in leadership established a firm commitment to exhibition and sales. Other arts and crafts societies similarly focused on educating consumers' taste by mounting exhibitions of handcrafted items and maintaining salesrooms that offered handcrafted items for sale (Boris, 1986; Cooke, 1997; Kaplan, 1987).

1. Industrial Art in Public Schools

The Penn Monthly. Decorative and Industrial Art In Public Schools, Charles Godfrey Leland

2. The Educative Value of Manual Training

Notice of the death of S. Horace WILLIAMS, former manual training teacher in the Greeley high school, was received by local friends and relatives Saturday. Mr. Williams, who since 1923 has been head of the department of psychology and education at Superior Teachers College, Superior, Wis., died there Wednesday [22 Feb 1939] ...

The significant report of Supt. Seaver, of Boston, touching the "educative value " of manual training is a timely commentary on this Council Report. Mr. Seaver's report, which accompanies his plan for a complete Manual Training High School for the City of Boston, is so apropos that I venture to give a generous quotation. He was commissioned to visit the manual training schools of Chicago, Toledo, Cleveland, Baltimore, Philadelphia and St. Louis, and to make a thorough inspection. Of one of his visits he speaks as follows:—

"The Director of the school bade me make myself perfectly at home, question the teachers, question the boys, and make my investigation as thorough as was in my power with all the help they could give. I devoted four days to the investigation. The results were a large book full of notes, and a clear impression in my mind of a well-organized and vigorously working school. I cannot here go into details. Suffice it to say, I used my privilege of questioning freely and thoroughly. I followed classes from the school-rooms into the drawing-rooms, and into the shops. I found the boys equally alert and intelligent in all branches of their work. They were as ready to describe and give the reasons for every step in the process of forging a pair of blacksmith's tongs, as they were to state and give the reasons for every step in the demonstration of a geometrical theorem. There are those who doubt the 'educative value' of manual training. Let any such person spend a few hours in a good manual training school, like this, observing the boys at their work and questioning them about it; and if his doubts about the 'educative value ' of manual training do not vanish, it will be because he measures 'educative value' by standards not in common use. I should desire him particularly to converse with those boys in the machine- shop, now drawing near the close of their school course, and busily at work on their 'projects' for graduation day. Let him ask for explanations, question them closely for reasons, observe the quality of their work, note their own criticisms and estimates of it, and he must be an unreasonable man if he does not admit that somehow their school training has developed in them a high degree of intelligence. The result is too striking to be overlooked, analyze and account for it as we may."

Source: Education Value of Manual Training ... Examination of Arguments Presented in Report of National Council Com. on Pedagogics, at Nashville, July, 1889. By C M Woodward, Gilbert Burnet Morrison, Committee on pedagogics, National Council of Education, National Education Association of the United States Published by Heath, 1890 Original from the University of Michigan Digitized Oct 8, 2007 95 pages


Considering the benefits to be derived from the study of Manual Train- ins, and the active measures taken by the Board of Education to encourage and promote its adoption in our schools, it is really surprising in what a small number of districts the work is being pursued. Ine general public needs education in this respect, for the educative value of Manual Training is not nearly well enough known, nor is it generally understood how cheaply the work can be inaugurated and carried on owing to substantial government subsidies. In every district into which Manual Training has been introduced, it is spoken of in terms of warm approval, and this is an index of the popularity it is ultimately bound to achieve.

Miss Louise Wetmore, who is referred to elsewhere in this report, writes as follows concerning the work done in the Manual Training school at Woodstock :—

"During the fall term of 1905. the classes in Woodworking, Grades VI to X, inclusive, made steady progress, special attention being paid in the advanced classes to constructive work involving the use of simple joints. In the Grammar Grades some freedom has been allowed and expression of originally encouraged in choice of model, and the size, form and decoration of same.

< ...

In addition to the former work of the school, cardboard construction has been taken up with Grade V pupils, 82 in all, with most encouraging results In the progress made In drawing, form, hand-skill, and general neatness and accuracy."

Source: Annual Report of the Chief Superintendent of Education By New Brunswick. Education Office 1906, page 71

3. The Influence of Arts and Crafts on Education

4. [something that stickley said early on

Arthur A. Hammerschlag, director of the Carnegie Technical School, gave a most interesting address on "The Influence of Arts and Crafts on Education." He called attention to the fact that art is the oldest of the three. He said:


"Nature was beautiful long before man's hands wrought the crudest materials of craftsmanship; in like manner, craftsmanship is considerably older than education. But it is art that is the oldest and most important of them all. Man does not struggle to accumulate wealth for the mere love or greed of gold, but in order that he may buy and surround himself with beautiful things; the two are inseparably linked together; art is the great medium whereby we express our best and highest thoughts. In Europe education, crafts and arts have have always been a part of each other."

Source: Manual Training Magazine 11 1910 page 72

A. A. Hammerschlag: The influence of arts and crafts on education, p. 133-36.

One of the most compelling ideas within the Arts and Crafts movement was a belief that crafts were primitive, natural activities. As middle-class Americans achieved more wealth and leisure at the end of the 19th century, they increasingly began to fear they were be­coming overcivilized, out of touch with "real life." Plagued by doubts about the reality of modern life, many came to see arts and crafts as a source of primal, authentic experience. In this context, handwork came to be viewed as a means of therapeutic rejuvenation (Lears, 1981).

In other contexts, crafts were associated with primitive cultural experience and children's development. According to the "culture epoch theory" then popular, children's development replicated the stages of development through which the whole human race had passed. Ac­cording to the theory, early stages of children's development corresponded to early stages of racial development. Since decorative arts and traditional crafts were associated with suppos­edly primitive stages of human history (which included both past cultures and contemporary cultures, such as those of Native Americans), children were believed to have a natural affinity for arts and crafts. Charles Godfrey Leland and Arthur Wesley Dow were among those who applied the culture epoch theory to teaching art (Boris, 1986; Wendy Kaplan, "Spreading the Crafts: The Role of the Schools", in Wendy Kaplan and Eileen Boris, eds., "The Art That is Life": the Arts and Crafts Movement in America, 1875-1920, Boston : Museum of Fine Arts, Boston,1987 Moffatt, 1977; Stankiewicz, 2001).

The Aesthetic Movement Hie Aesthetic movement flourished in the United States in the 1870s and 1880s. Like the Arts and Crafts movement, the Aesthetic movement had originated in Britain as a reaction to social changes that came with industrialization; however, instead of challenging the structure of capitalist work relationships, the Aesthetic movement offered a way of believing in the power of art without the kind of social critiques mounted by Ruskin, Morris, and others. The Aesthetic movement placed artistic values above ethical ones. Its central ideal was art for art's !take, a celebration of universal form and style apart from the historical, social, and moral contexts in which works of art were created or used. Although the Aesthetic movement was centered in the decorative arts, it was also apparent in arts such as painting and architecture. The Aesthetic movement reflected and helped reshape Americans' ideas about nature, religion, political economy, and gender in ways that were in keeping with an urban, industrial way of life (Stein, 1986). In art education, Aesthetic beliefs had initially been disseminated by the South Kensington system of teaching drawing and design, brought to North America by Walter Smith. Over time, elements of both Aestheticism and the Arts and Crafts movement were combined in textbooks published by the Prang Educational Company in the late 19th and early 20th century (Stankiewicz, 1992a).

Source: Adapted from Mary Ann Stankiewicz, et al, Questioning the Past: Contexts, Functions, and Stakeholders in 19th Century Art Education, in Handbook of Research and Policy in Art Education, ed. by Elliot W. Eisner, Michael D. Day, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004

J. Liberty Tadd, New Methods in Education. New York: Orange Judd Co., 1899. 432 p.

According to Ray Stombaugh --whose dissertation was written from a 1930s perspective of Industrial Arts -- Tadd's New Methods in Education was

"A radical exposition of a manual training idea in which emphasis is placed on the elements of drawing, modeling, and woodcarving. Prominence is also given to ambidexterity, correlation, and pupil self-activity."


Charles Godfrey Leland, born in Philadelphia, August 15, 1824, died in Florence, Italy, March 20, 1903. From a scan of entries about him in the JSTOR database, Leland was a Renaissance man, i.e., his erudition seems to have "known no bounds": poetry, folklore, anthropology (although that discipline was still in its rudimentary stages before 1900), among other pursuits, but for our interests, it is his teaching art/design that touches on woodworking.

For sources on Leland, I am indebted to the first third of David W. Baker, “J. Liberty Tadd, Who Are You?”, Studies in Art Education 26 No 2,1984, pages 75-85; Elizabeth Robins Pennell, Charles Godfrey Leland: A Biography. Volume 1 Adamant Media Corporation, 2001,

His manuscripts are at Princeton University

Leland was influenced the Arts and Crafts Movement, primarily by William Morris, whom he studied under beginning around 1870. The Home Arts and Industries Association was founded in imitation of an intitiative of his that had been praised by Oscar Wilde. He had established a school to teach crafts to disadvantaged children in Philadelphia.

While he was in England [date], Leland studied under William Morris. In 1880, he returned to Philadelphia, and founded an experimental school based on the arts and crafts movement.The school, which had opened with the permis­sion of the Board of Education, proved successful and was incorporated the following year into the public school system as the Philadelphia Public School of Industrial Art.

Leland and The Public Industrial Art School of Philadelphia

After much trouble I have got the Industrial Committee of the school board of Philadelphia to take up my project of introducing handwork into schools. I have a room or rooms given me; I am to have money for materials and to pay an assistant teacher. There is a large class of teachers in the public schools who are coming to my classes, and I am to have as many scholars and children as I can manage. A number of ladies interested in education will take a hand. We shall go at wood-carving, leather, brass, mosaic, etc., etc. When this is started it will go of itself. All the pupils will have their work sold and share the profits. A house in New York will take all the plaques I can supply. . . .

Source: Elizabeth Robins Pennell, Charles Godfrey Leland: a biography By Published by Houghton, Mifflin, 1906 Item notes: v. 2, page 96

If Dewey's turn-of-the-century comments anticipated contemporary instructional prac­tices in art education, then it could be argued that much of the work done in Philadelphia's Public Industrial Art School anticipated Dewey's remarks. This school, in response to community advocacy, was initially established by the Philadelphia Board of Public Educa­tion (1880b) on an experimental basis and its doors opened on the first Tuesday in May, 1881, to 150 pupils. Over the following 35 years it would provide a most unique and remarkably contemporary course of study to thousands of the city's teachers, children, and adults.

From the beginning, the curriculum of the school manifested its grounding in the visual arts. In January, 1880, the citizens' group that advocated the establishment of the school-- the Committee on Industrial Art Education --invited Walter Smith, the State Director of Art Education in Massachusetts, to lecture to the Philadelphia Board of Public Education (1880a) upon the adjustment of industrial drawing to the requirements of the times. The group also provided instruction in the Walter Smith System of Drawing to about 1,200 classroom teachers in 1879-1880 (Philadelphia Board of Public Education, 1881), but the Committee and the Superintendent of Schools were looking for something more than train­ing in drawing for teachers (Fee, 1938). In what could be seen as a fortuitous event, Leland, a local citizen who had considerable experience abroad as a prime mover of Great Britain's Home Arts and Industries Associa­tion, laid before the Committee and Board of Public Education his system of industrial art training, which was centered on work with the "minor arts." Leland, with the support of the Committee on Industrial Art Education, re­quested the opportunity to demonstrate the value of his system in the Philadelphia schools and offered to direct the enterprise without salary (Leland, 1888).

The Home Arts and Industries Association was an organisation that functioned as a precursor to the Art Workers Guild in the development of the Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain. It was founded in 1884 by Eglantyne Louisa Jebb who was inspired by an initiative of Charles Godfrey Leland in Philadelphia. Another leading member was the designer Mary Fraser Tytler. The organisation sought to revive traditional rural crafts which were threatened by the mechanisation of production and by increasing urbanization. In conformity with the thinking of John Ruskin and with Arts and Crafts philosophy, supporters believed that flourishing traditional crafts helped sustain rural communities and provided workers with far more personal satisfaction than was possible for factory workers. The Association funded schools and organised marketing opportunities for craftspeople.

In December, 1880, the city Board of Public Education (1880b) agreed to provide rooms in which Leland could, after school hours, instruct teachers in industrial art education. In January, 1881, he was granted further permission, and given the facilities, to use his method of teaching with grammar-school chil­dren on an experimental basis. By spring, a faculty of 13 teachers was assembled to teach students between the ages of 10 and 14 the arts of drawing, designing, modeling in clay, wood carving, carpenter work, metal work, and embroidery. Significantly, classes were held during after-school hours-2:30 to 4:30 p.m.—and students of both sexes were se­lected from schools throughout the city (Fee, 1938). This extra-school scheduling and selec­tive enrollment characterized the school throughout its history.

During his four year tenure as Director of the school, Leland tested his methodology and refined his education theory, which he articulated in speeches, circulars, articles, reports, and books (Leland, 1888). In his book, appropriately titled Practical Education, Leland presented a definitive view of his theory. After an introductory claim that education consists of storing the memory, developing the intellect, and training the con­structive faculty, he proposed to . . . go a step beyond this, and show if possible how memory may be created, quickness of perception be awakened, and the constructive power formed, so that the mind, when it begins to acquire knowledge, may do so with confidence and strength. (p. vii)

This proposal is grounded in what Leland contends are four truths:

1.that everyone pos­sesses a memory that can be profoundly im­proved;

2.that perception, in the full sense of the term, can be developed to an astonishing degree;

3.that eye-memory, a faculty of visual perception that is a subtle blending or com­bination of memory and perception, can be enhanced to bring before one vividly anything they ever have seen.

4.that everyone has a constructive faculty which is most active and susceptible to instruction when they are between the ages of six and 14.

He neatly ties these contentions together by claiming that memory, quickness of percep­tion, and visualizing meet and blend in art or, where children are concerned, the minor arts.

Upon Leland's return to England a few years later, the school was continued by his colleague, J. Liberty Tadd, who further popularized the aesthetic dimension in shop work. The new emphasis on "design or art in construction, and construction in art" ( Lewis F. Anderson, History of Manual and Industrial School Education. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1926 p. 190)

J Liberty Tadd

Leland continued to write:

# Industrial and Decorative Art in Public Schools, Philadelphia Social Science Association (Philadelphia, PA), 1880.

[17 pages, not online]

# Industrial Art in charles osgood leland industrial art in schools 1882, U.S. Government Printing Office (Washington, DC), 1882; and an enlarged version (online) is Practical Education: Treating of the Development of Memory, the Increasing Quickness of Perception, and Training the Constructive Faculty , Whittaker (London, England), 1888.

below is from pages 19-20

First Step of Education

It is a law ... that -- when properly taught -- all the minor arts, or ... branches of industry ... allied to taste or ornament... can generally be ... mastered at a first lesson.... For this reason art should form the beginning of all industrial education.... It should be the first step, ... as it rapidly trains the pupils to understand that several arts are really but a single art, or to regard them as a whole. [I]t is a good preparation to induce them to consider the subdivisions of farm or household labour, or of a commercial business, as parts of an unity. ... [While] many ... will say that this is "too theoretical" for children, ... it would not be too much so for such children under fourteen years of age as I have had from the public schools of Philadelphia. But industrial work, to be taught even to the very young, should not be limited to the ornamental. Design-drawing should precede everything; but when this is understood, carpenters' work, or joinery in its rudiments, or any branch of easy industry, suited to circumstances, may be taken up as soon as the pupil is fitted for or desires it.

It has been from the beginning a source of annoyance or of serious impediment to me, that certain editors and other critics [argue] that I aim only at teaching " aesthetic trifling," " sunflower nonsense," and " playing at art," when it was impossible for me, owing to circumstances beyond my control, to go beyond the first steps connected with design.

Therefore I here state plainly


that it embraces every conceivable branch of practical industry suited to a child's brain and hands;

that it begins with design and with teaching pupils that arts are only applied or developed design, and

that in like manner all other industries not artistic are each a "many-in-one" or an unfolding of a single principle.

Industrial art in schools -- and it should be in all schools as well as families -— covers the ground or fills the time intervening between the Kindergarten and the industrial school... And ... the system is capable of being introduced into any school ... where there is a preceptor who has some little knowledge of drawing, with intelligence enough to apply it, according to the easy rules laid down in certain elementary handbooks of art. To aid such teachers I prepared a series of cheap Art- Work Manuals ...:—

Ceramic Painting,

Tapestry Painting,

Outline Embroidery,

Filled in Embroidery,

Decorative Oil Painting,

Drawing and Decorative Design (outline),

Wood Carving,

Eepousse Work or Embossing Sheet Brass,

Leather Work,

Papier Mache,

Modelling in Clay and Underglaze Faience Decoration, and



Below is from page 34

The Practical Application of Design

When design is mastered to a certain extent it may be practically applied to many arts....


below is from pages 42-43

Carpenter's Work, Joinery, or Cabinetmaking

Taken as an art by itself carpentry is much more difficult than when practised in a school in connection with design, wood-carving, and other arts. I find it hard, very hard indeed, to make most people understand this. They profess to be able to see how something " practical," such as the use of carpenters' tools, can be useful, but the "theory" that the application of design to "arts" can make a carpenter of a boy in less time than by the old method, they do not approve of. I have found in my school that it is very usual for a boy or girl to ask if he or she may not take up some new branch. "What have you been doing?" is the question. "Designing, modelling, and a little carving." If the proposed class is not too full permission is accorded. I am always certain that the pupil who is at home in one or two branches will take up any other almost as readily as if it had been already practised. It would be precisely the same in carpenters' work, or printing, or shoemaking, after he had become familiar with our studio or atelier. It is not what is taught in an industrial art school to which I call attention so much as the fact that anything technical and practical can there be very easily acquired, if the right beginning has only been made.

below is from pages 82-83

Art Instruction in Its Relation to the Trades

I cannot set forth too strongly the fact that decorative art is to be taught to children and girls, simply because it is better adapted to their age or nature than a trade or mechanical pursuits, and that whenever it is possible the pupils should be put into practical work. Thus when boys or even girls manifest an aptness or a fitness for it, they may be taught simple carpentry or joining, turning, or any of the trades, if there be an opportunity to do so, and they can learn. It requires many thousands of dollars or pounds sterling to establish an industrial school, but industrial art may be taught from the infants' school upward. ... [I]ndustrial art, especially as regards boys, is really only a training for a trade, and that far from giving them a distaste for useful work, it only whets the appetite.

I was one of the first ... to point out... that the decay of the apprentice system must very soon lead to industrial education in schools. Machinery is making men into machines at such a rate that humanity is becoming seriously alarmed at the inevitable result. The old apprentice had a chance to rise, since he learned a whole trade; the modern workman, who is kept at making the sixtieth part of a shoe, and at nothing else, by a master whom he never sees, is becoming a mere serf to capital. Even the industrial school with its "practical" work can do nothing against this onward and terrible march of utilitaria [sic]. It is in the teaching of art, and of the superiority of hand-work in all that constitutes taste, that the remedy will be found. By and by, when culture shall have advanced—as it will—there will be an adjustment of interests. Machinery will supply mere physical comforts. Man, and not machinery, will minister to taste and refinement. Machinery promised to supply food for all. There are more people at present with virtually nothing to do, than there ever were in the days of hand labour. They do not starve, and they are not in rags, but they are paupers. They walk about in decent clothes, but they are dependents on parents, rich relations, or on somebody. If they had any calling, industry, or art, however small, they would not be paupers. And it is for industrial art in schools to save them.

I have been assured by practical-impractical men, that industries not "staple" are not worthy of being recognised by a government. But these people mean by "staple" certain settled, old-fashioned industries, and they assume that there can never be any new ones. Now when I, as I am credited for it by high authority, revived repousse" in brass, and its sister art of stamped leather, or cuir louilli, as manual employment for amateurs, I gave an impulse to an industry which has set thousands of people at work. But I am told "this is a fancy-work craze." Well, when the same craze first sprung up it lasted more than a thousand years, and it will do so again. The great reason why Germany is taking the lead in the world's markets is, because she teaches art and letters to her apprentices.

... From page 87-88

General Observations

Equality of the sexes in artistic capacities

It may interest the reader to know that in design- drawing there is no difference as regards merit or capacity between the sexes. In brass-work boys excel, not because it requires more strength, for it does not, and the gentlest worker who makes least exertion does best, but because women and girls will not take so much pains to learn to run a line well with a tracer on brass before proceeding to make what they are confident will be saleable and beautiful productions. In wood-carving the sexes are more nearly equal, with an advantage, however, in favour of the male. In modelling the equality is almost re-established. Teachers who have had much experience in Europe all declare that American girls or grown women, while clever, are the most difficult to teach, owing to their impatience. As a rule, when not under restraint, they have not the patience to learn to design, but are eager to take up at once one or several arts, hoping to beg, buy, or borrow patterns, as luck may provide. Those who do proceed by the right road of drawing learn rapidly and do well. While it is continually urged that women who are all players of the piano never produced a great composer, or indeed a very great artist of any kind, it is at least consoling to know that in the minor decorative arts, which produce great eras of art, there is but little difference as regards results, and if f1om small beginnings we date our winnings, it may be that from this training something may arise surpassing aught in. the past.


The most serious obstacle with which industrial art has to contend is the extravagant and inflated ideas which are popularly attached to the word art. It has been so long identified with pictures and statues, that in every newspaper, under the heading of "The Fine Arts," nothing but news of pictures and statues is expected. Now, as not one person in scores can accurately distinguish a good picture from a bad one, and as the kind of art knowledge which is current sets itself forth in a vast vocabulary of cant, it is not remarkable that "art" has become a terror.

There are men in high places who profess to be authorities, who declare that " art" is something for only the very few to rightly understand, and that it requires a special inspiration and much education to appreciate it. When every one, rich or poor, shall know what design is, though it be only simply decorative, and has become familiar with a tastefully ornamented house, however humble, then art in its highest, purest, and noblest sense will have no mystery for any one.

It is most unfortunately true that, while taste, learning, and culture are spreading rapidly, there has been so far no rational or common-sensible effort to really teach the poor and ignorant anything of the kind. There is a great deal of writing about the ennobling tendencies of art, but there have been as yet very few efforts to really go down to the basis and make a proper beginning. The dilettanti and cognoscenti, and of late years the esesthetes, have all preached in their time and way the glory of Raphael or Michaelngelo, and how desirable it would be to bring a knowledge of them down to the people. But they have never tried bringing the people up to Raphael.

Now, Raphael and Michaelngelo sprung from the people in an age when every object was made with decorative art. They were results more than causes. And when this shall be the case with us, we shall have Eaphaels again, and not till then. There never was a real art in the world that did not spring from the people, that was not fully shared in by the people, and that did not belong to the people. If there were to-day as much knowledge of and fondness for design as there seems to have been among the prehistoric savages of Europe, we should in a few years raise our manufactures of every kind to pre-eminence, and with them improve ourselves personally, morally, and socially.1 [1 Mr. William Morris, the eminent poet and artist, speaks to the same effect in an address at the opening of a Fine Art and Industrial Exhibition at Manchester, England :—

"In truth, these decorative arts, when they are genuine, real from the root up, have one claim to be considered serious matters which even the greater works do in a way lack, and this claim is that they are the direct expression of the thoughts and aspirations of the mass of the people; and I assert that the higher class of artist, the individual artist -- he whose work is, as it were, a work in itself-- cannot live healthily and happily without the lower kind of art --if we must call it lower -- the kind which we may think of as co-operative art, and which, when it is genuine, gives your great man, be he never so great, the peaceful and beautiful surroundings and the sympathetic audience which he justly thinks he has a right to."


There is a great coming revival of culture and of art, but it will not be with us until we teach its principles to every child in every school. There is an instinct in mankind for decoration, for colour, for manifestations of what is beautiful. It has been starved out temporarily by the practical developments of science or by the useful. This was well; but while comfort should be paramount, there is no need of suppressing taste. Those who talk about the sunflower mania and "art craze" as something temporary, and who mistake the esthetes for the main army yet to come, are like the ambassadors sent by an African king to visit London, and who -- at the first small Arab village -- thought themselves at the end of their journey.

Ed. NoteVincent Van Gogh's iconic "sunflower" series of paintings appeared in 1888.

David W Baker, "J Liberty Tadd, Who Are You" Studies in Art Education 1984 28, No 2 1984, page 73-85 have jstor copy and copy on text editor

j liberty tadd New Methods in Education 1899 pdf

Mary Ann Stankiewicz, Patricia M. Amburgy, Paul E. Bolin, "Questioning the past: contexts, functions, and stakeholders in 19th-century art education", in Elliot W. Eisner, Michael D. Day, eds, Handbook of Research and Policy in Art Education,Mahwah, NJ: National Art Education Association; published by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004, pages 33-53

Page 43 ... he held that crafts education taught students how to work.2 Leland's assistant J. Liberty Tadd (1854-1917) took over as director of the school in 1884, ...

Page 49 J. Liberty Tadd, who are you? Studies in Art Education, 26, 75-85. Barnhill. GB. Korzenik, D., & Sloat, CF (Eds.). (1997). The cultivation of artists in ...

led many associations of art and manual train­ing teachers to organize or combine into common groups. This combin­ing of shop work and art instruction was a major emphasis of the arts and crafts movement and influenced manual training teachers to be conscious of design and proper construction — an awareness that marked the beginning of the movement later known as manual arts.

Source: G. Eugene Martin, Ed. D., Department of Industrial Education Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, & Joseph F. Luetkemeyer, Industrial Education Department University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, INDUSTRIAL ARTS EDUCATION: RETROSPECT, PROSPECT; 28th yearbook 1979 American Council on Industrial Arts Teacher Education. Chapter 1: The Movements That Led To Contemporary Industrial Arts Education;

needs added piece by tadd -- edit bzowski

From Edward Daniel Bzowski, An Analysis of Some Movements which May Have Influenced the Growth and Development of Manual Arts diss U of Maryland, 1969, pages 69-77

The Importance of the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 The World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, held in Chicago, commemorated the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America.25 William T. Harris, "Preface" Proceedings of the Inter­national Congress of Education (Chicago, Illinois, 1893).

The Exposition was a showplace of modern architecture, invention, new products, and amusements. It was al­so the gathering place of educators from all over the world for an International Congress of Education held under the auspices of the National Education Association. The purpose of this congress was to study and analyze the existing edu­cational systems, their strong points, defects, and needs, and to present and promote new methods of education.

The fifteen departments of this congress, which hold their sessions in the mornings of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of this week, represent, in equal proportions, the new and the old; one half devoted to understanding and explain­ing what is already established and in vogue, the other half devoted to showing the claims of what is new, and urging its adoption into the school system. The educational problems are all to be discussed, if wisely discussed, in the light of these two sides or tendencies. The committees on programs have kept this in view.26 [26Ibid., pp. 26-7.]

It was at this meeting that ideas for new directions in manual activities germinated. The kindergarten department concerned itself with the study of the child, his growth and development, and the value of hand work. The elementary department primarily discussed what kinds of subjects should be taught in the elementary schools. Presenting a defense for manual activities in the elementary schools was Calvin M. Woodward who warned against manual training to meet local needs only. He recommended that the school "first develop the individual boy; then let him discover himself, and finally the demands, opportunities, and possibilities of the world around him. He then may choose his work advisedly...." 27 [27Calvin M. Woodward, "What Should be Added to the Essen­tial Branches of the Elementary Course of Study to Meet the Industrial Needs of the Localities?" Proceedings of the International Congress of Education (Chicago, Illinois, 1893), 28Harris, p. 29.]

The Department of Industrial and Manual Training at the congress compared the Russian system, sloyd, and the French system of manual training. Besides the existing systems, the influences of new programs were discussed.

An interesting question, especially inter­esting in the presence of this great World's Exposition of the products of human industry, is that of the relation of technical skill and manual processes to the training of the aes­thetic sense - the cultivation of the taste for the beautiful.

This question is brought out in many of its phases in the congress on art instruction, and still more of its phases are taken up in the congress on industrial and manual instruction, Z' Although each of these departments examined its subject and introduced new directions in education, the most impor­tant feature of this congress was the Congress on Rational Psychology and the Congress of Experimental Psychology in Education. The Congress on Rational Psychology described itself as a body:

...which considers the transient and permanent characteristics of mind, seeks to discover the fundamental characteristics which contradis­tinguish mind from mere biological phenomena -the mind as knowing primitive truth and as pure self-activity. The other congress, that of Experimental Psychology, devotes all its discussions to questions of child-study in physical, emotional, intellectual, and voli­tional aspects.29 Ibid.

No other date or event was found which had any impact similar to the Chicago World's Fair International Congress of Education of 1893. Here, for the first time, psychology and its importance to the progress of education was pre­sented; the role and direction of manual activities were examined; the evidence of the cultural or fine arts influence was noted. The effects of this Congress were very noticeable in the writings and reports of the following year. In fact, in that year the National Education Association formed a Department of Child Study.

New problems in our system of education are confronting us. Instead of the continued and varied discussion in regard to methods and devices, the study of the child's growing mind is attracting widespread attention. The conditions under which a mind develops, and the agencies that favorably or unfavorably affect its growth, are continually observed and recorded, The study of the child leads to wiser instruction. To meet this demand, for the study of child mind, another department has been added to the National Education Association, and the people of this country have been looking to Dr. G. Stanley Hall and others as the leaders of human growth and development.30 [30Albert G. Lane, "Responses," National Education Assoc­iation, Journal of Proceedings and Addresses: Session of the y P Year 2224 (Asburark, New jersey, 1894, pp. 55-56.]

At the same session of the NEA., J. Liberty Tadd addressed both the art department and the industrial education department. In his art department address, Tadd pleaded 29 Ibid. for a new freedom of expression through drawing; in the in­dustrial education address, he summarized his views on man­ual arts as:

Manual Training is not a mere method of using certain tools. It is, as I have pointed out

(1) a mode of thought expression that must recog­nize the potential and creative capacities before anything else, and

(2) provide for freedom of expression. This can only be well done during the nascent period of growth in structure, and during development of complexity in the organism, by physical co-ordination, and

(3) by making sense impressions organic - first hand - by ministering to it at right periods right things in line with the instincts, heredity and environment, and no teacher should dare to deal with the subject who is not familiar with these three immense powers.31

[31 J. Liberty Tadd, "Manual Training Methods in Philadel­phia Public Schools," National Education Association, Journal of Proceedings and Addresses: Session of the Year 1894 , Asbury Park, New Jersey, 1894), p. 891.]

Other viewpoints brought out at this session reinforced Tadd's philosophy of "thought expression." Some educators urged a more liberal approach to activities as practiced in the kindergarten. The enthusiasm for kindergarten on the part of the participants of this meeting was evident in the following report:

The kindergarten adopts this doctrine of in­terest. One cannot visit a good kindergarten for an hour without realizing that a lively interest is the leading thought in the teacher's mind. The knowl­edge is subordinate; the state of the child's mind, his attitude towards knowledge is the chief point. The teacher is convinced that, if strong interest is excited, mental life is the result. Hence, she works directly for interest, using knowledge as her means. So there is at present a striking difference between the kindergarten and the common school. While they are both aiming at the same thing ultimately, e. activity of the mind - thoughtfulness ‑- the former hopes to attain it by fixing interest as the highest immediate object, while the latter relies directly upon knowledge as the means to that end. One must be wrong. The phenomenal success of kindergartens and the fact that pri­mary teachers feel the need for becoming imbued with kindergarten ideas indicates which one it is.32 [32 F. M. McMurray, "Recent Educational Theory," National Education Association, Journal of Proceedings and Addresses: Session of the Year 18_077—D.87.]

This particular attitude became the dominant motive of almost all manual activities in the schools and brought about a greater amount of student freedom, both in class movement and in class activity.

The Decline of the Russian System of Manual Training

The kind of manual training advocated by Calvin M. Woodward was primarily based on a formal discipline which exercised observation, trained the reasoning powers, and strengthened the will. This training did not relate to any industrial training and "...was as barren as its philos­ophy."33 [33 Charles R. Richards, "Some Notes on the History of In­dustrial Education in the United States," National Education Association, Journal of Addresses and Proceedings, 58th

Annual Meeting (Boston, Mass., 1910), p.678]

the new movement was due to a vague but sincere conviction that the introduction of handwork stood for industrial training, edu­cators as a rule most carefully refrained from advancing a claim for utilitarian value in the work and all utterances were for the most part expressed in terms of the prevailing faculty psychology.34[34 Charles R. Richards, "Some Notes on the History of In­dustrial Education in the United States," National Education Association, Journal of Addresses and Proceedings, 58th

Annual Meeting (Boston, Mass., 1910), p.678]

During this period numerous trades were being absorbed by the growing industrial system. This situation was worsened by the trade unions, which severely limited the number of apprentices allowed into the remaining trades.

The schools failed to consider the industrial situation, and at the same time industry remained apathetic toward training its own employees. "During this tremendous evolution both the public school and the industrial establishment have preserved their separateness of function.“35 [35 Ibid•4 p. 676.]

Since apprenticeship has virtually ceased, through the subdivision of labor, it is doubly necessary that the public schools should give the elements, scientific and artistic, which form the basis of a technical culture. And they should do this without diminishing the literary culture they now impart. Only by such an enlarge­ment of the common school curriculum can the great body of laborers secure the education so essential to their welfare and be kept from degen­erating into mere machines for doing a limited variety of work.36 [36 Charles B. Stetson, "Technical Education: What it is and What American Public Schools Should Teach,” As Quoted in Isaac Edward Clarke, Education in the Fine and Industrial Arts, Part I (Washington, D. C.: b. s7-Government Printing Office, 1885), p. 488.]

Another factor which affected the success of the Russian system of manual training was the drastic decline in high school enrollment. Three-fourths to nine-tenths of the students never entered high school. Such statistics brought about the shift in shop work to the elementary school level where it could serve to train more students in related industrial work.37 [37"Report of the Sub-Committee on the Place of Industries in the Elementary School," National educational Association, Journal of Addresses and Proceedings, 58th Annual Meeting] 71777T4 Mass., 1910), pp. 680-82.]

The new thoughts on education, precipitated by the International Congress on Education, caused a further critical appraisal of the Russian system of manual training. [38 J. Liberty Tadd, n. 889,]

The program was attacked because of its abstract exercises and its lack of relation to other subjects. It is a noteworthy fact, however, that while handwork has maintained its place in the general school program, the much vaunted Russian system, to which it owed its introduction, has not. Its merely formal exercises productive of objects neither of use nor of beauty seemed to the pupils to lead to nothing, and tended to become no less tedious than the formal exercises in arithmetic and grammar. The first school to adopt the Russian system in a program of general education, the School of Mechanic Arts in Boston, after a linger­ing of a few years, ceased to exist altogether as a nonvocational school.39 [39 Lewis Flint Anderson, History of Manual and Industrial School Education (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1926), p. 180.

From Edward Daniel Bzowski, An Analysis of Some Movements which May Have Influenced the Growth and Development of Manual Arts diss U of Maryland, 1969, pages 77-80

The Growth of Manual Training in the United States

The Russian system of manual training supplied a timely solution to the problems of Calvin M. Woodward and John D. Runkle, who were seeking an effective method of training engineering students in hand tool competency. These men promoted the Russian system of manual training, and this promotion led to the addition of manual training in some of the high schools and the formation of several new manual training centers. These manual training centers were usually found in large cities and were affiliated with universities.

The formal and rigid program of hand tool exercises was justified under the dominant precepts of faculty psychology as providing for the training of the motor skill compartment of the brain. However, the abstract nature of this program proved unsuitable for the elementary grades and was generally taught in the high schools. Despite the leadership of Woodward and Runkle, the program spread slowly and was usually found only in the large city school systems.


These teachers' courses are attended voluntarily, the classes usually being crowded. The teachers are not as yet required to actually apply these methods, but in many instances they introduce them soon after starting in the course. They readily see its application to all the other studies, and how it can simplify their work and render easy some of the difficulties, and they are only too glad to introduce it as soon as possible. The whole work from the start should be considered in its elementary stages, not as an addition to the curriculum, but as a means of helping all the other departments—the art part, tlie doing, providing channels for expression in all directions from all things, not from a few set forms.

Is this the usual idea of manual training, judging from the exhibits at Chicago?

It is not fit that we should ask: What is manual training? To some it means an exercise for the muscles, like gymnastics, and to others a process for making boys merely handy. Others think it is a way of teaching trades to children, and nearly all confound it with mechanical training, and suppose a drill is necessary in sawing and planing, chipping and filing, wood-turning, plumbing, etc., while very few disassociate it from the use of machinery and from slow, tedious trade processes.

Manual training for education cannot be obtained by mechanical pursuits similar to carpentry, plumbing, chipping, filing, sloyd, etc. Manual training is not a matter of simply doing different things. It is the intelligent selection of modes from the many operations and pursuits most suited to produce the effect desired. Swinging dumbbells or pushing a plane or saw produces muscle, but does not require the constant use of the intellect. The thinking powers are not increased in ratio. There are many exercises more fitted for our purpose. We must select for manual training purposes work and methods that, in addition to giving muscular activity, will exercise the peripheral nerves as tools of the senses. It includes all processes that train the muscles and the mind to work in harmony. In soim- of its applications it gives skill in planing boards and shaping iron, but just as legitimately does it make the hand cunning to dissect a nerve, to engrave an etching, or to finger a violin. As no school of manual training is obliged to teach anatomy, engraving and music, so no school of the kind must necessarily teach joinery or chipping and filing, or several other very mechanical processes. What it must teach are those processes that will make the pupil muscularly as ready to begin any kind of work when he is grown as the ordinary school studies make him mentally ready. Those who believe that such processes are inseparable from the use of saws and hammers, sloyd, paper-cut ting, etc., have not looked all around the subject.

We feel here that we are able to speak with authority bred by experience, the mother of ideas. Though not known in many quarters, the Philadelphia Industrial Art School has been in existence for the past fourteen years. During all that time experiments have been made and various methods subjected to trial. No forms, plans, schemes or traditions have been accepted as right, the constant endeavor being to find and to formulate the best way. At the present date, we can safely say that real elementary manual training is now thoroughly established in the public schools of Philadelphia, and that, out of 3,000 teachers, 700 use manual training drawing and clay modeling, partially or together, as modes of expression in a vital organic way.

Manual training is that training of the hand that enables it to obey the mind as a mode of thought expression. It is the union of thought and action made vitally and mutually dependent one on the other. Thought being nascent action, and the mechanism of thought being motory, it is simply a method of evolving right action, righteousness in its true sense, action from right motive. This is the sum and substance of a true education. People who will not grant that the mechanism of thought is motory cannot escape the correlation that the mechanism of the expression of thought is motory. Manual training must, primarily, then, aim to produce facility and freedom of motion. As Professor Hailmann of Washington, one of the greatest authorities on the subject, and whose thought is far in advance of any to-day, states:

"A mental act is incomplete unless through its feelings and thinkings and \villiugs it reaches the corresponding deed. The hand is the projected brain, through which the directing thought achieves the heart purposes of man. The hand mediates inwardly and outwardly between man and his environment, makes him and his environment one and stimulates and establishes thought."

Scientifically stated, facility of motion from the complex interaction of the supreme ganglionic cerebral plexuses to the periphery in its inward and outward currents must be established, and, in many cases, be made automatic, to allow the will still higher freedom.

I have no sympathy with the manual training methods that make the use of tools and workshop exercises the main end. I observe a tendency to make the pupils use tools, instead of developing first the instrumentalities of the organism, the mind, the eyes, the hands. These are the primary tools; to these our chief care should be given. It is of little use that the pupil has built a machine by mechanical means if his own organism is not complete: if his hand is not sure. his eye true and his mind balanced.

I make a plea for this organic skill, first, because I have tested many pupils from various institutions, and have found, almost invariably, that, without instruments of precision, rulers, compasses, gauges, calipers, etc.. they are powerless. In many cases, they are simply plan-followers and thoughtless mechanics, without the elementary facility that small children can get spontaneously hi n few weeks' practice of rational methods in manual training. They have been trained, under traditional formulas, to do certain things certain ways, like pegs made to fit certain holes, without any endeavor to have them realize the immeasurable life possibilities and potentialities planted in each one.

Why should manual training be applied in the old traditional school ways? In the new education is not evolution chiefly changing the methods of instruction? Are not the old ways chiefly concerned in producing conformity to types, imparting information— cramming? Should not the new ways do the reverse of this? Should it not give the pupils a glimpse of the life within, teeming with possibilities far beyond the ken of anything in the past or present, with means and facilities to work them out? Should we not aim to produce original ideas and to carry them out in action, instead of the pitiable efforts represented by a series of fifteen joints, made after a conventional plan, following thoughtless rules? I assert, that, after a certain amount of rule-following and obedience to formulas and dogmas, the productive and creative imagination, with the inspiration to achievement and action that goes with it, is lost. The vital energy is diverted, and, finally, tied down, to certain well marked grooves and ruts. Life becomes a drudgery without the joy that should accompany every normal deed.

As at present constituted, the manual training methods in many schools are simply adding extra studies, making the ahvady overcrowded curriculum more lop-sided, and helping to overbalance thi- orgauism. Our methods of manual training should be used rather as arts to relieve all other studies, to render easy the previous hard paths, the drudgery of unmeaning work, and to inspire desire for action through things. I have no sympathy with the teachers who speak of the need of discipline and tasks for strengthening the pupils. Life is full of this, but if we are ever to get willing and faithful service to the noblest of ideals it will be by inculcating the joy of service by making all the work pleasurable for the young. Later on they will need the help of instinct that comes from habitual well-doing.

Must we not consider heredity, environment and the instincts in formulating manual training methods?

If we know that some circumstances and surroundings will build up some organisms and entirely destroy others, just in proportion to their amount of, or lack of, motive power, self-control and self-government, must not our methods primarily aim to increase and strengthen these capacities?

I agree thoroughly with Aristotle, as quoted by Mr. Tracy of Clark University: "Whose whole ethical system is based upon the formation of good habits by constant training of the activities, and who has said that even as we learn to play on the harp by playinp on the harp, so we become virtuous by doing actions of virtue and just and brave by doing actions of bravery and justice."

I have no faith in the morality that must come, as one great authority states, through the study of "historic literature" or by ser mons, or through the intellect alone. Touching the feelings does not always inspire one to action, though it may tickle and please; too often the pleasure becomes an end, and ministers to self-indulgence. Self-reliance, self control, self-esteem, self-command, self righteousness, must come and can only come by forming right habits until they become instinctive and automatic.

I sometimes think some of the old school methods cause mental waste, divert conduct from aims, induce the play of unhealthy and useless emotions, and breed the fear and worry that oppress the hearts of many grown people. Worry consumes vital energy very rapidly; right habits, made automatic, increase vital energy, or allow it to have issue. Many people worry themselves sick over things that never happen. Normal action and deeds will invariably rouse healthy thoughts; normal thoughts inspire noble deeds.

The creative and inspiring imagination is not troubled with self- consciousness. Self-consciousness, in many cases, is vital energy thrown back upon itself without any outlet. It is conspicuous in many grown people, the proper outlets of the life forces never having been provided for by the various modes of expression. Only the fool wastes his vital force in laughter; only the stupid babble all the lime. What is in, must out by some channel. Let us see to it that they are unimpeded; not blocked up.

Strict conformity to conventional rules and traditions limit the spontaneity of the spirit and the movements of the body. Spoil taneity is inspiring, for the instincts make it so. The spirit must be guided, not curbed; allowed to well up in all fullness and freedom. Then it will seek its own channel and will lead out into a stream, ever broadening, until it reaches the ocean from whence it came. If forced along the narrow grooves and ruts of traditional mediocrity, the quantity and tlie quality ever decreases until it gradually reaches the sandy desert of aimlessness and is lost and dispersed. The only safe rules to follow are those that well up from within; that inspired our sage Emerson to say:

These rules were writ in human heart
By him who built the day.
The pillars of the universe
Not firmer based than they.

In closing, I must claim, that, to get rational manual training, a reformation is necessary in the traditional schools. Manual training is not a mere method of using certain tools. It is, as I have pointed out

(1) a mode of thought expression that must recognize the potential and creative capacities before anything else, and

(2) provide for freedom of expression. This can only be well done durin"- the nascent period of growth in structure, and during development of complexity in the organism, by physical co-ordinations, and

(3) by making sense impressions organic—first-hand—by ministering to it at right periods right things in line with the instincts, heredity and environment, and no teacher should dare to deal with the subject who is not familiar with these three immense powers.

Sources: Mary Ann Stankiewicz, Patricia M. Amburgy, Paul E. Bolin, "Questioning the past: contexts, functions, and stakeholders in 19th-century art education", in Elliot W. Eisner, Michael D. Day, eds, Handbook of Research and Policy in Art Education, Mahwah, NJ: National Art Education Association; published by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004, pages 33-53