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Industrial Education: Modifications Within Public or General School Programs to Meet Industrial Needs


by Frederick G. Bonser 1911

Until recently, wherever public support and control of education have developed, such education has been based upon the theory that it was supplementary to vocation. Its end point has been cultural or liberal. Until long after the Industrial Revolution, the numerous forms of apprenticeship training relieved the school from responsibility for any form of technical efficiency other than mastery of the "tool" subjects, the traditional three R's. The remoteness of school work from the larger problems of everyday life produced conservatism among schoolmasters and school authorities making readjustment to new demands slow and difficult. Notwithstanding this, however, gradual and fundamental attempts at readjustment have taken place during the last quarter of a century. The cumulative force of a number of increasingly effective influences has brought about a change of attitude now marked by a greater responsiveness to life needs than ever before in the history of great school systems. The school has felt pressure from two distinct sources, the industrial and the pedagogic. In addition to the growing demand for greater degrees of skill and efficiency in the industrial worker, the school has been affected by the realism, naturalism, and general pragmatism which have been developing since the Renaissance. Through these forces can be seen a progressively broadening tendency to bring the work of the school into a more vital relationship with the immediate world in which the child lives. However, but a good beginning has really been made. In all countries, supplementary schools only remotely connected with the regular systems of general education have been developed as the immediate solution of the problem of educating the industrial worker. In addition to the conservative attitude of school authorities are the difficulties of organization and administration necessary to meet the needs of vocational methods and practice. The effort to make these new provisions and adjustments for increasing practical efficiency and industrial intelligence without sacrificing the precious values in the culture and discipline of the traditional curriculum is often abandoned as an impossible problem and the old regime goes on without even a compromise.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 12 Number 4, 1911, p. 25-44
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10126, Date Accessed: 12/12/2017 11:11:24 AM

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  • Frederick Bonser


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