THE FRUITS OF MANUAL TRAINING.
By Professor C. M. WOODWARD, Ph. D.,Washington University St Louis Source: Popular Science Monthly 1884
(A similar theme is repeated frequently by Woodward; see for example, the quote, the head is trained more than the hand , page 6, in Chapter I, The Growth of the Manual Element, Manual Training School, 1887.)
THE object of this paper is to consider directly the fruits of manual training. By manual training I do not mean merely the training of the hand and arm. If a school should attempt the very narrow task of teaching only the manual details of a particular trade or trades, it would, as Felix Adler says, violate the rights of the children. It would be doing the very thing I have always protested against. That, or very nearly that, is what is done in the great majority of European trade-schools. They have no place in our American system of education.
The word "manual" must, for the present, be the best word to distinguish that peculiar system of liberal education which recognizes the manual as well as the intellectual. I advocate manual training for all children as an element in general education. I care little what tools are used, or how they are used, so long as proper habits (morals) are formed, and provided the windows of the mind are kept open toward the world of things and forces, physical as well as spiritual.
We do not wish or propose to neglect or underrateliterary and scientific culture ; we strive to include all the elements in just proportion. When the manual elements which are essential to a liberal education are universally accepted and incorporated into American schools, the word " manual " may very properly be dropped.
I use the word "liberal" in its strict sense of "free". No education can be "free" which leaves the child no choice, or which gives a bias against any honorable occupation; which walls up the avenues of approach to any vocation requiring intelligence and skill. A truly liberal education educates equally for all spheres of usefulness; it furnishes the broad foundation on which to build the superstructure. ...for complete article, click on this link