Ray Stombaugh

A Survey of The Movements Culminating in Industrial Arts Education in Secondary Schools

Bureau of Publications

Teachers College Columbia University

1936


CHAPTER VII

THE SLOYD MOVEMENT

pages 90-102

ANOTHER movement which played a part in determining present practices in industrial arts was the sloyd movement introduced into this country in the late eighties. Sloyd work was not entirely new to American teachers, for the famous Sloyd Normal School had been founded atNääs, Sweden, in 1875, by August Abrahamson [Gustaf Larsson, "The Origin and History of the Sloyd in Sweden and the Principles Underlying the Work of the Sloyd Training School, Boston." Proceedings of the American Manual Training Association, July 1897, page 7 (not online)] with Otto Salomon as director.

This school had attracted students from many countries, and numerous articles and books had been written and printed in English regarding the school and the system. In 1883, an account of Ordway's visit to some of the Swedish sloyd schools was published, together with translations that he had made of articles written by Otto Salomon and H. K.Kjennerud on the Swedish sloyd system. [ MASSACHUSETTS. Forty-Sixth Annual Report of the Board of Education . . . , 1881-82. pages 163-213 (not online)] Some years later American teachers of handwork had an opportunity to examine a display of Swedish sloyd work at the Cotton Centennial Exhibition at New Orleans in 1885. "The remarkable Sloyd work of Sweden was illustrated by a set of drawings of the Nääs models, . . . and by about 100 specimens of very nice woodwork, made by boys from eleven to fifteen years old, in the schools of Stockholm." [170. John Ordway, and others, "Report on Industrial Education", N.E.A. . .. Proceedings and Addresses . . . , 1885. p. 525 (not online)]

Sloyd Training School

The first sloyd courses to command any great attention in this country were taught by Larsson in the Sloyd Training School established by Mrs. Quincy A. Shaw [[44. Frimann B Arngrimsson, "Sloyd: Its Aim, Method, and Results." Popular Science Monthly, XXXVI April 1890, page 788 (not online)] and supported by her until her death. It was this same school that was later to become an important training center for teachers of sloyd.

Purpose of the School

In a paper read before the American Manual Training Association at New Haven, Connecticut, Larsson, speaking of this experiment by Mrs. Shaw, said,

It is an outgrowth of her work in establishing free kindergarten teaching in the public schools of Boston, and is regarded by her as a continuation of that work, animated by the same spirit and looking to the same results. [131. Gustaf Larsson, "The Origin and History of the Sloyd in Sweden, and the Principles Underlying the Work of the Sloyd Training School", Boston." Sloyd Bulletin No. 1, pp. 1-8, May 1898. Boston: Sloyd Training School, page 4 (not online)]

A quotation, claimed by Arngrimsson to be an extract from the "Midsummer Report of the Sloyd School" for 1889, states that it was the intention of this school to demonstrate the principles of the Swedish method of manual training modified to meet American requirements. [44. Frimann B Arngrimsson, "Sloyd: Its Aim, Method, and Results." Popular Science Monthly, XXXVI April 1890, page 788 (not online)]

Larsson also wrote that it was "the first aim of the undertaking ... to provide an opportunity for the study of the Swedish System of Manual Training, and to test its adaptability to American needs." [Gustaf Larsson, Sloyd as Adopted in Boston, no publisher, 1893. No. 16 of a volume of pamphlets, New York: Teachers College, Columbia University Press, page 1]

Adaptation of Sloyd to American Conditions

Though the sloyd system of manual training had proved satisfactory in Sweden, Larsson admitted that many of the models transplanted from the Swedish course were not suited to American pupils. One of the most conspicuous shortcomings, to his thinking, was the parallel course in drawing. [Gustaf Larsson, Sloyd as Adopted in Boston, no publisher, 1893. No. 16 of a volume of pamphlets, New York: Teachers College, Columbia University Press, page 1] After a period of adjustment, he developed what he considered to be a satisfactory course.

Public School Experiments With the System

Larsson must have started teaching sloyd to classes from the Boston Public Schools soon after the Sloyd Training School started. In a pamphlet, "Sloyd as Adapted in Boston"," in 1893, he related that For more than four years, pupils from the public schools of Boston have been permitted to attend the sloyd schools for half a day's session weekly, . . ." [Gustaf Larsson, Sloyd for American Schools, no. 13 of a volume of pamphlets, Teachers College, Columbia University, page 5] In 1893, Larsson claimed that eleven centers in Boston were using the sloyd system. [Gustaf Larsson, Sloyd as Adopted in Boston, no publisher, 1893. No. 16 of a volume of pamphlets, New York: Teachers College, Columbia University Press, page 2] Seaver reported a large-scale experiment being carried on in the city of Boston in an attempt to determine whether the Russian or the sloyd system could best meet the needs of the grammar school pupils. [239 : 22-23 ] The experiment appears to have resulted favorably for the sloyd system because a "Sloyd Bulletin" stated:

The City of Boston, after years of experimenting with manual training courses for its grammar schools, now makes use almost exclusively of models from the Sloyd Training School, and the twenty-four teachers of woodworking in the Boston Grammar Schools are, with one exception, Sloyd Training School graduates or students. [131. LARSSON, GUSTAF. "The Origin and History of the Sloyd in Sweden, and the Principles Underlying the Work of the Sloyd Training School, Boston." Sloyd Bulletin No. 1, pp. 1-8, May 1898. Boston: Sloyd Training School. 28 (not online) not accurate -- needs checking]

Chicago was one of the first large cities to try out this system of manual training. The school report of 1892 mentions the introduction of the sloyd system into three schools as an experiment. [261. CHICAGO, ILL. Thirty-Eighth Annual Report of the Board of Education . . . , 1892. page 60 (not online)]

The Growth of Sloyd

The activities of the Sloyd Training School must have received some favorable comment and publicity, for the Albany, New York, Committee on Manual Training in their report for 1889 recommended the use of the sloyd system in a proposed class in manual training for girls. [Otto Salomon, Theory of Educational Sloyd, 1892, : 30]

The system appears to have met with a ready response in this country. In 1893, Larsson reports the school had furnished more than thirty teachers and lists twelve cities where they were teaching. [Gustaf Larsson, Sloyd as Adopted in Boston, no publisher, 1893. No. 16 of a volume of pamphlets, New York: Teachers College, Columbia University Press, page 2]

Not all of these teachers were giving instruction in public schools, because four normal schools and one reformatory are listed. Another report by the same author (believed written in 1894) lists twenty-six cities in which the sloyd system of the Sloyd Training School was being taught. [Gustaf Larsson, Sloyd for American Schools, no. 13 of a volume of pamphlets, Teachers College, Columbia University, pages 11-12] This list likewise contains four normal schools, a reformatory, an orphan asylum, a school for the deaf, and a school for the blind. The Report of the Commissioner of Education for 1893-94 lists eighteen schools, or twenty-five per cent of the seventy-two schools offering manualtraining classes in grades seven to twelve, as teaching sloyd. [210. U. S. Report of the Commissioner of Education . . , 1893-94. Vol. II, pp. 2093-2113. 2097-2113]

Aims of Sloyd

Larsson, in stating the aim of Sloyd, says that

it is to provide for the harmonious development of children during the formative age from eight to fifteen. [134. LARSSON, GUSTAF. Sloyd Theory and Practice. n.p. Boston: 1904, page 10 (not online)]

The general aims stated by him were:

    1. The teachers must be professional teachers, and not artisans merely.

    2. The teaching must be systematic, progressive, and with the exception of certain class demonstrations, as far as possible individual.

    3. Such work should be selected as will give the best physical development, through free vigorous movements.

    4. The visible or material results should be in every respect the workers own effort . . .

    5. The exercises should be applied on objects the use of which can be thoroughly appreciated by the worker. Each object should be simple, and of good form and proportion.

    6. The course should include not only objects which can be made accurate by the help of testing tools, but also free-hand work which exercises the sense of form through sight and touch.

    7. Special importance is attached to neatness, accuracy, and finish, to the love of good work for its own sake, and the development of independence. [134. LARSSON, GUSTAF. Sloyd Theory and Practice. n.p. Boston: 1904, page 11 (not online)]

The sloyd system was patterned after the Swedish Sloyd taught at Nääs under the direction of Otto Salomon. [134. LARSSON, GUSTAF. Sloyd Theory and Practice. n.p. Boston: 1904, page 10 (not online)] Salomon had divided the aims of sloyd into two classes, the formative and the utilitarian. The formative aims were:

    1. To instill a taste for, and a love of, labour in general.

    2. To inspire a respect for rough, honest, bodily labour.

    3. To develop independence and self-reliance.

    4. To train in habits of order, exactness, cleanliness and neatness.

    5. To train the eye and sense of form. To give a general dexterity of hand, and to develop touch.

    6. To accustom to attention, industry, perseverance, and patience.

    7. To promote the development of the physical powers.

The utilitarian aims were:

(1) To directly give dexterity in the use of tools.

(2) To execute exact work. [Otto Salomon, Theory of Educational Sloyd, 1892, 6-7]

An examination of these aims shows a strong similarity to the aims stated by some of the manual training schools employing the Russian system of manual training. The greatest difference to be found between the two systems is in the principles of method.

Principles of Method

The principles of method stated by Salomon were:

    1. The instruction must go from easy to difficult.

    2. The instruction must go from simple to complex.

    3. The instruction must go from the known to the unknown.

    4. The teaching must lay a good foundation.

    5. The teacher should possess educational tact.

    6. The teaching should be interesting in character.

    7. The instruction should be intuitive in its character, i.e., it should be given as far as possible through the senses, especially touch and sight.

    8. The teaching should be individual in character.

    9. The instructor should be a teacher and not a mere craftsman. [Otto Salomon, Theory of Educational Sloyd, 1892,]

Some of these principles may take on more meaning with a word of explanation. The first principle, to proceed from the easy to the difficult, did not refer to the complexity of the models but to the ease or difficulty of the exercises employed in making them, as observed by what the children regarded as easy. The same principle was supposed to apply to the order of the introduction of tools in the course. The first tool used was the knife because it was considered to be the easiest to employ and it was assumed all boys had some familiarity with it. The complexity of the problem was not determined by the number of pieces making up a model but rather the number of exercises involved in making a model. A model of one piece, because of the number of processes that were essential in the making of it, might be more complex than a model composed of several parts. The principle of proceeding from the known to the unknown might apply to tools as well as to exercises. [Otto Salomon, Theory of Educational Sloyd, 1892,10—11]

Several principles were laid down as a means of accomplishing the aim, "to instill a taste for, and a love of, labour in general." The first of these was: "The models must be useful from the pupils' standpoint." This immediate practical application added something of educational value to the sloyd that is in direct contrast to the outcomes of the Russian system, whose end was so remote that pupils were unable to see any value in their work.

Whereas the theory of the Russian system was "instruction before construction" through a series of abstract exercises, the principle of the sloyd system was that "the work should not involve fatiguing exercises." Salomon believed the impelling educational force in sloyd to be interest, and to maintain this interest there should be no preparatory exercises, all exercises should be included in the making of the model. His theory was to work from the concrete to the abstract. In the presentation of his first models in the course, he believed the pupil should work from the model because working from a drawing would be working from the abstract. He set up four stages of progression to be observed in the principle of proceeding from the concrete to the abstract. The first has already been mentioned: "The pupil should begin to work from the model. . . . 2nd. The children work from the model combined with a drawing of it. . . . 3rd. The children work from the drawing only. . . . 4th. The children may be allowed to devise an object they would like to draw, construct a drawing of it, and then construct the object from the drawing."[Otto Salomon, Theory of Educational Sloyd, 1892, 22-23]

In order to stimulate interest and a love for the work, it was the conviction of Salomon that as much variety should be introduced into the work as was compatible with the aims of sloyd. He believed there should be variety in the kinds of tools, in exercises, in the size and shape of the models, and in the use of the models. For this reason he was willing that the pupil should progress to the next model when he had failed two or three times in attempting satisfactorily to complete one. He had a strong feeling that each model should be completed in as perfect a manner as possible.

One principle stressed as important from an educational point of view was that "the pupils must be capable of doing the work themselves." This necessitated great care in the selection of models. It was his conviction that the finished article should represent pupils' efforts only. Any article on which the pupil could not do all of the work had no place in the course. If at any time it became necessary for the teacher to show the pupil something about the work that would require the use of tools, he should do so on another piece of work. Art people still have this "hands off" point of view.

Two other principles listed to enhance a love of labor were that "work must be real work, not a pretense at it" and "the object made should become the property of the child." [Otto Salomon, Theory of Educational Sloyd, 1892, 17-28]

Another aim of sloyd that is of interest because of the contrast to the methods of the Russian system is the aim "to develop independence and self-reliance." Salomon offers several suggestions for proceeding toward this end. In the first case, the class should not be so large as to interfere with individual supervision and teaching. Second, he would have the work of each child independent of that of every other child. Third, "the teacher must not tell or show too much." This principle is quite different from the Russian system whereby each exercise was to be demonstrated in full to the class before they proceeded to work on it. Salomon states, "It is of great importance that the teacher abstain from rendering actual assistance on the work itself. Better even that the child spoil the objects they are making, than that the teacher do part of the work." Elizabeth Woodward, in speaking of the methods in one of the Boston schools, implies that when a boy working by himself from a drawing or specification runs into a difficulty he is supposed to determine for himself what the next steps are. She said, "The teacher's part is only to see that the 'next thing' is done in the best possible way." [195. WOODWARD, ELIZABETH JOSEPHINE. "Sloyd." A Conference on Manual Training . . . Boston . . . , 1891. pp. 26-33. Boston: New England Conference Educational Workers. FEDERAL BULLETINS AND REPORTS 31] This is quite a different procedure from the Russian system, which dictated the proper order of steps from the very beginning. The fourth principle, "the work must accord with the capacity of the child," has already been commented on. Fifth, "the children should endeavour to discover for themselves, by experiment, the best methods of holding and manipulating the tools." This point also is in direct contrast with the theory of the Russian system, where the manner of using each tool was demonstrated to the class before the pupil ever put the tool to use. Salomon stipulated that the teaching of tools and their uses "should follow, not precede, experimental use of them by the children." [Otto Salomon, Theory of Educational Sloyd, 1892, 68] He would first give the pupil an opportunity to experiment for himself and after a sufficient time, if he had not discovered the proper procedure, he would show the proper way to proceed, preferably by a few helpful suggestions rather than by too minute details. He says, "It is very important that children should think and judge for themselves and not the teacher for them." [Otto Salomon, Theory of Educational Sloyd, 1892, 33] This last statement leads into his sixth suggestion that "the teacher should allow as much free play to the judgment of the child as possible." In this matter he allows for three stages in the program of the work. [Otto Salomon, Theory of Educational Sloyd, 1892, 33-34]

Larsson presented several principles of sloyd similar to those of Salomon, in a paper read at the International Congress of Education at the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, July 26, 1893. Two ideas which he stressed at that time were the cultivation of the aesthetic sense by selected models, and the use of models simple enough in construction that they could be drawn by the pupils themselves instead of having to be copied or traced. [162. LARSSON, GUSTAF. "Sloyd for Elementary Schools, as Contrasted with the Russian System of Manual Training." N.E.A. Proceedings of the International Congress of Education . . . , 1893. pp. 600-601. 600-601] Apparently these two points had been developed here in the United States, eithr by Larsson or by some of his associates. Miss Woodward, in referring to the Swedish sloyd at the time of its introduction into this country, said: "At two points the Swedish models were found lacking: they were not based upon drawing, and they were weak upon the aesthetic side." [195. WOODWARD, ELIZABETH JOSEPHINE. "Sloyd." A Conference on Manual Training . . . Boston . . . , 1891. pp. 26-33. Boston: New England Conference Educational Workers. FEDERAL BULLETINS AND REPORTS 31-32] Miss Woodward continued by stating, "Drawing is the first and greatest gain which has come to the Sloyd by transplanting." [195. WOODWARD, ELIZABETH JOSEPHINE. "Sloyd." A Conference on Manual Training . . . Boston . . . , 1891. pp. 26-33. Boston: New England Conference Educational Workers. FEDERAL BULLETINS AND REPORTS 32] Salomon had approved of drawing in the advanced sloyd work but had not required that it be done. In this country, we find drawing becoming an essential feature and a preliminary requirement before the pupil started construction. [162. LARSSON, GUSTAF. "Sloyd for Elementary Schools, as Contrasted with the Russian System of Manual Training." N.E.A. Proceedings of the International Congress of Education . . . , 1893. pp. 600-601. 601] Larsson also advanced two principles having to do with the physical development aspect of the work. "The progression of the exercises should be such as to secure constant and proportionate development of mind and body" and "The work should be of such a character as to admit of the best hygienic condition." [130. LARSSON, GUSTAF. "Manu et Mente"; A Textbook of Working Drawings of Models in Sloyd. Boston: Sloyd Training School, 1893. 84 p. Introduction] The first of these principles was also stressed by J. Liberty Tadd in his book, New Methods in Education. Working positions at the bench received considerable emphasis by both Salomon and Larsson. [Otto Salomon, Theory of Educational Sloyd, 1892, pages 49-60; Gustaf Larsson, Manu et Mente: A Textbook of Working Drawings of Models in Sloyd Boston Training School, 1893, pages 74-76; Gustaf Larsson, Sloyd as Adopted in Boston, no publisher, 1893. No. 16 of a volume of pamphlets, New York: Teachers College, Columbia University Press, page 8]

Sloyd Course of Study

The course in sloyd developed by Salomon consisted of fifty models involving eighty-eight exercises. [Otto Salomon, Theory of Educational Sloyd, 1892, : 82-89] The course prepared by Larsson lists fifteen models for the first year of preliminary sloyd and thirty-one models involving seventy-two exercises for the three-year course. The entire four-year sloyd course involved eighty-two exercises. [Gustaf Larsson, Sloyd as Adopted in Boston, no publisher, 1893. No. 16 of a volume of pamphlets, New York: Teachers College, Columbia University Press, Appendix; Gustaf Larsson, Sloyd for American Schools, no. 13 of a volume of pamphlets, Teachers College, Columbia University, pages 18ff.] Josephine Woodward speaks about the exercises of twenty-eight models in American sloyd representing approximately the same number of exercises as were involved in the fifty exercises at Nääs. She explains this apparent great change in the number of models as being due to the introduction of drawing into the American sloyd; that whereas in the Swedish sloyd certain exercises needed to be repeated in the wood, in the American adaptation many of these exercises could be repeated in the drawing. [195. WOODWARD, ELIZABETH JOSEPHINE. "Sloyd." A Conference on Manual Training . . . Boston . . . , 1891. pp. 26-33. Boston: New England Conference Educational Workers. FEDERAL BULLETINS AND REPORTS 32]

Contrast of Sloyd and Russian Systems

This new type of handwork proved a distinct improvement over the Russian system. The first and most prominent of the differences between the two systems was the insistence of the sloyd upon the use of the completed model rather than the exercise that was characteristic of the Russian system. The sloyd also gave greater prominence to form study, for certain models were introduced which required dependence upon the pupil's judgment of shape and proportion rather than relying on the testing tools typical of the Russian system. The sloyd also offered a greater variety of models, exercises, and tools, which tended to stimulate a greater interest among the pupils. Lastly, the sloyd leaders demanded trained teachers for sloyd work. [162. LARSSON, GUSTAF. "Sloyd for Elementary Schools, as Contrasted with the Russian System of Manual Training." N.E.A. Proceedings of the International Congress of Education . . . , 1893. pp. 600-601. 600-601] The leaders in the Russian system also had tried to stress the point that the teacher of shopwork should be a skilled teacher rather than an artisan.

The Cambridge Committee on Manual Training reported:

Of the several systems of manual training, the Swedish or Sloyd, with some changes to adapt it to the American child, is the best. It admits a progressive advancement, and is better suited to the age of our pupils than is the Russian. [258. CAMBRIDGE, MASS. Report of the School Committee . .. , 1894. PP. 32-34, 54-60. 33]

Turney, in commenting on the experience with the two systems in Springfield, Illinois, said:

... while the Russian system undoubtedly produces the best results technically, it fails to create and interest, but the Swedish system, Americanized, stimulates the creative faculty and tends to hold the boys in school. [315. SPRINGFIELD, MASS. Report of the School Committee ... , 1887. pp. 22-26, 64-73. 27]

Superintendent Spaulding, of Montclair, New Jersey, in his report also favored the sloyd system for

The weakness of this system (Russian) consists in its inability to interest and its lack of adaptability to young boys, who possess varying facility in the manipulation of hands and tools. On the other hand, Sloyd possesses an advantage, first, in its power to interest by means of a large and varied assortment of useful objects to be constructed, and, second, its adaptability to the individual at different stages of development. [232. NEW JERSEY. Annual Report of the Board of Education and the Superintendent of Public Instruction . . . , 1897, page 329]

Mather questions the use of the Russian system. In his report he referred to the lack of sustained interest on the part of the pupils and to their carelessness or indifference to quality in their work in manual training. He believed "the system has left out of account a boy's nature, his love to accomplish something obviously worth doing, to produce something he can take home and use." [295. NEW HAVEN, CONN. Annual Report of the Board of Education . , 1897, page 51]

It is not difficult to understand why the sloyd system was welcome in the grammar grades as a release from the Russian system. The reader will recall that the Russian system had been devised in the Imperial Technical School at Moscow, Russia, as a means of technical, training for engineering students. Pioneers in the manual training movement in this country, many of whom were connected with engineering schools, conceived the idea that such a type of shop instruction was well suited to the mental and physical abilities of high school boys. A similar system of shop instruction was introduced into the two schools which were to be the prototypes for manual training high schools. The exercises of the Russian system were soon pushed down into the upper grammar grades because of the conviction on the part of educators that the manual training of the kindergarten should connect up with the normal training of the high school.[195. WOODWARD, ELIZABETH JOSEPHINE. "Sloyd." A Conference on Manual Training . . . Boston . . . , 1891. pp. 26-33. Boston: New England Conference Educational Workers. FEDERAL BULLETINS AND REPORTS 26] Inasmuch as these exercises had been designed for young men in engineering schools, it was obvious that modifications would be necessary if they were to be suited to boys of grammar school age.

The necessary modification consisted "in substituting simpler exercises for the more difficult ones, and then rearranging the whole so as to secure easy gradations and logical development." [239. SEAVER, EDWIN P. "The Recent History of Manual Training and Industrial Education." Report of the [Massachussetts] Commission on Manual Training and Industrial Education, 1893, pages 21-22] But these abstract exercises did not appeal to the grammar school pupil after the novelty had worn off; he was so remote from any application that he could not see the reason for developing the tool skills and knowledges of processes. An attempt was made to maintain a greater interest by introducing a limited number of useful problems. Even so, the sloyd system series of exercises incorporated into useful articles from the beginning was a better answer to the problem of manual education in the grammar schools.

Criticism of Sloyd

Although sloyd was readily accepted by many handwork teachers, several defects in the system became apparent shortly after it had been in use. Beardsley, while admitting Swedish sloyd was based on correct pedagogic principles, claimed it was "not applicable to the conditions found to exist in the American city, because their system had originated and' developed among agricultural people." [265. CHICAGO, ILL. Forty-Fourth Annual Report of the Board of Education . . . , 1898. page 62] Seaver believed "the weak point in the Swedish sloyd is its neglect of the working drawings." [239. Edwin P Seaver, "The Recent History of Manual Training and Industrial Education." Report of the [Mass.] Commission on Manual Training and Industrial Education, 1893. pp. 6-30, 219-220 22] Tadd also took issue with sloyd and criticized the unsuitability of the work for American youth because of the lack of drawing and the formalism of the work; although he did qualifyingly admit sloyd to be "the best of all amateur woodworking systems." [32. TADD, J. LIBERTY. New Methods in Education. New York: Orange Judd Co., 1899. 432 p. 25729]

Harris and others of the National Education Association Committee on Exhibition for 1888 were of the opinion that sloyd had no value in developing the aesthetic interests of youth. [173. "Report of the Committee on Exhibition." N.E.A.... Proceed­ings and Addresses . . . , 1888. pp. 685-69o. 690] The reader should keep in mind, however, that Harris was one of the strongest opponents of handwork in school and in this instance was referring to the sloyd work in Sweden.

Anderson [1. ANDERSON, LEWIS F. History of Manual and Industrial School Education. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1926. 251 p. 187-188], Mays [90. Arthur B. Mays, "The Determining Factors in the Evolution of the Industrial Arts in America." Industrial Arts Magazine, XIII February, March, 1924, page 87] , and Struck [30. STRUCK, F. THEODORE. Foundations of Industrial Education. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1930. 429 p.30] mention the formality of the sloyd system as being one of its defects. Mays says,

. . . sloyd suffered from the inflexibility of its organization and the almost unvarying character of the models made. Like the Russian system, sloyd was too carefully analyzed and its special values were too well measured and defined. Too little room was allowed for individual differences and there was, too, some doubt as to the exact benefits to be derived from its use. [90. Arthur B. Mays, "The Determining Factors in the Evolution of the Industrial Arts in America." Industrial Arts Magazine, XIII February, March, 1924, page 87]

Some of these defects may not have been due so much to possible faults inherent in the system as to the interpretation of the system by teachers who either adapted or adopted it. They saw only the outward expression of the models rather than the principles which lay behind them. Larsson recognized certain shortcomings of the Swedish sloyd to meet the needs of American youth and immediately set about to remodel the course of models, but still maintained the sloyd principles. Salomon also made allowances for growth in his program. Although he was more bound by tradition than Larsson, he found it necessary to change and rearrange his models to suit conditions and situations. If other teachers had been willing to study the needs of their pupils and plan their courses accordingly, if they had considered sloyd as a system which could evolve the same as any other system of education, instead of merely adopting a series of models, which may have been satisfactory in one situation, though static in another, much less criticism of the system would likely have been heard. The crux of the difficulty appears to have been that too many teachers of handwork were trying to substitute a series of models for teaching.

Although the models employed in the Swedish schools were not acceptable to American teachers, the sloyd general scheme of making useful objects requiring all the skill of the Russian system found favor with them and there evolved from the two systems a so-called American system in which the model gave way to the project as the unit of course organization. [90. Arthur B. Mays, "The Determining Factors in the Evolution of the Industrial Arts in America." Industrial Arts Magazine, XIII February, March, 1924, page 87]

Summary

In order to determine its relative merits in comparison with the Russian system of manual training, sloyd experiments were carried on in many cities soon after the work had started in Boston. The sloyd system appears to have found ready acceptance in the grammar grades because it was better suited to the age of the pupils and because it made a greater appeal to their interests. The spread of the sloyd system may be considered very rapid. Five years after the Sloyd Training School had been established, one quarter of the secondary schools offering manual training work reported courses in sloyd.

The outstanding characteristics of the work were individual method of instruction, the useful model, and the encouragement of pupil initiative and self-direction. Although the sloyd system was an improvement over the Russian system, if judged on the basis of modern educational philosophy, it was not without its critics. There were many who considered the system too formal, and pointed to the fact that in too many cases the sequences of models used was as inflexible as the sequence of exercises of the Russian system.

Some opportunity had been offered American educators to become familiar with the theory of the sloyd system of manual training previous to 1888, but it was not until the establishment of the Sloyd Training School in Boston, under the patronage of Mrs. Quincy Shaw, that attention was focused on the practice of the system. The originalpurpose of the school was to demonstrate the principles of the Swedish system of manual training and extend the handwork of the kindergarten through the grades to connect with that of the higher schools. Later, through the activities and influence of Gustaf Larsson, the director, this school became an important training center for teachers of sloyd.

Larsson found it necessary to make numerous changes in the original course of models introduced from Sweden in order to adapt it to the needs of American schools. Two of the most important changes were the development of a parallel course in drawing and an improvement in the design of the models.