Distributive Education

1985 book on distrubtive education

Distributive Education is an educational program where students receive both classroom instruction and on-the-job training.

The first use of the term is the Knights of Labor's Journal in 1883, as part of a resolution on cooperation. However, this sentence,

"That voluntary, practical co-operation includes education, productive, collective, and distributive education"

does not quite imply what I think the later meaning, i.e., "education that includes 'on-the-job-training'." The annual Patterson's Education Directory for 1904 lists 25 instances of Distributive Education as position labels, school district by school district, indicating wide use in the early years of the century's first decade. (Regretfully, further searches for the historical use of the term in Google Books Research proved inclusive. While the references to the occurence of "distrubutive education" are plentiful, too many errors crept into the citations to allow determing precisely whether the reference was for the decade you are searching, or -- because errors in the precise year had crept in; ex: a search for 1910-1920 yielded publications of the 1940s, 1950s, etc., -- searches yielded some publications for other later decades. For sure, starting about 1930, the frequency of publications that include the phrase "distributive education" increases exponentially.)

Sources: Arthur E Mcclure, et al, Education for Work: The Historical Evolution of Vocational and Distributive Education in America, Rutherford, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1985, traces the historical development of vocational and distributive education in the United States, beginning with a historical overview of vocational education in the western European tradition through to the 1980s, and the study ends with list of references almost ten pages long.)