Document 57: The Contributions to Manual Training by Charles Godfrey Leland and J Liberty Tadd
[under construction 6-23-2010]
The arts and crafts movement was introduced into the United States through the work of Charles Godfrey Leland and J. Liberty Tadd.
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 [dates]. 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
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,...
Filled in Embroidery,
Decorative Oil Painting,
Drawing and Decorative Design (outline),
Eepousse Work or Embossing Sheet Brass,
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
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.
MISAPPREHENSION OF "ART" AN OBSTACLE TO INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION
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 [33Charles 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[34Ibid.]
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 [35Ibid•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