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ing, and calculation; and in many countries, every youth who shows great talent in any department, is promoted to a higher training school, and there educated at the public cost.
Besides these local schools, other countries have technical colleges of a very high class for the education of masters and foremen in engineering, mechanics, merchandise, and other practical and technical professions..
We have not failed to notice that it is precisely those nations which have been systematically giving a course of preparatory training and education to their population in their skilled trades, that have shown the most marked progress in national industry in these successive Exhibitions.
Prussia, Switzerland, Belgium, France, America, seem to make progress in proportion to their excellence of educational training
– Prussia in steel, iron, and general engineering work; Switzerland, in scientific engineering, machinery, and watch and telegraph work, and in textile manufactures; Belgium, in metal working and mechanical trades; France, in metal work, and in steam engines, engineering structures, naval architecture and steam navigation. All these nations seem to exhibit growing skill and progress in proportion to the excellence of the education and training they give to their manufacturing population.
It becomes, therefore, a serious national question for England and the English, whether they have or have not been wise in neglecting to take adequate measures of a national character for the complete technical training of all the youth destined to skilled trades and occupations. By this training we do not, on the one hand, mean elementary education, nor, on the other hand, do we mean any substitute for a practical working apprenticeship. We mean a schooling midway between the elementary day-school and the workshop, which the youth should enter after he knows reading, writing and counting, in order to learn to apply his reading, writing and calculation to the purpose of acquiring such knowledge of mathematics, mechanics, mineralogy, chemistry, drawing, etc., as shall fit him more aptly and perfectly afterwards to learn and to profit by the teaching of the workshop and the office. It is unquestionable that apprentices to trades, coming into the workshops with this preparation, will make greatly more rapid and certain progress than those who enter direct from the elementary school.
But in England we can scarcely as yet be said to possess such schools. Certainly they are not uniformly distributed over the towns of England; and it seems that in no country have they thriven, or even existed, except when organized and sustained by nations at large, acting through their Governments.
We have, therefore, to recommend to the serious attention of the British nation the consideration of the importance of establishing a national system of technical and trade education.
[Since printing the above we have been favored with the following letter from ex-Governor Washburn, one of the trustees, giving an account of a school, new in many of its features, which is about to be established, with every prospect of success, in Worcester. The establishment of Scientific Schools in connection with our colleges, like the Lawrence School at Harvard, the Sheffield at Yale, the Chandler at Dartmouth, and the School of Mines of Columbia College, and of independent institutions like the Mass. Institute of Technology, and now the commencement of a class of intermediate schools like this at Worcester, are evidences that the instincts and the wants of the community are all tending more and more strongly towards establishing the popular education of the nation upon a practical and scientific basis. That literature or learning of any other type will take harm by this movement we cannot for a moment believe.]
CAMBRIDGE, Sept. 1, 1867. PROF. ATKINSON :
Dear Sir, — I have availed myself of your permission to look over the article in The Teacher on “ Technical Education,” while in preparation. I take great pleasure in being able to say that some noble friends of education in Worcester County have so far anticipated the wants of the public for such schools as are contemplated in the letters with which you have favored your readers, that an institution is now in great forwardness in the city of Worcester, which aims at the purposes so fully commended in those letters.
The history of the institution is briefly this: A gentleman, now deceased, who, though uneducated, had by the prosecution of a mechanical trade accumulated a handsome estate, proposed to place in the hands of certain persons the sum of $100,000, for the purpose of founding an institution such as, in their judgment, was needed by the public to supply a practical education for those who did not intend to pursue a collegiate course of instruction.
The want of a school at which the practical sciences should be taught, where young men could prepare themselves to take charge of departments in manufacturing, in mechanical establishments, in the working of iron, the processes of bleaching, printing, etc., and, in short, in the various forms of applied science, was so obvious, that a plan for that object was at once suggested, and met with the approval of the donor. The scheme found favor at once; individuals came forward and contributed some $50,000 for the erection of the necessary building; and another gentleman, of distinguished liberality, himself a mechanic, proposed to unite with the principal institution a machine-shop, fitted with all necessary engines and apparatus, to be superintended by a man of competent science and skill, in which practical instruction should be given to a certain number of young men who should be pupils and receiving instruction in the institution. And to this end, he contributed what amounts, in all probability, to from $60,000 to $75,000; while another distinguished friend of progress and liberal learning has contributed land and moneys for the completion of the buildings, some $30,000 or more. So that the institution will commence with certain and assured funds and property of $250,000 or more. The institution has been incorporated, and the requisite buildings are in great forwardness upon one of the most beautiful sites in or around the thriving and active city of Worcester.
It is to be an entirely free institute, no fee or tuition being charged for instruction. It is intended to embrace the several departments of practical science which such a scheme would reasonably require, such as chemistry, natural philosophy, embracing mechanics, hydraulics, metallurgy, etc., — mathematics in their practical applications, etc. And it is intended to have the instruction in whatever is taught of that thorough and practical character, that a young man educated there may be prepared to engage in places requiring the knowledge and application of the laws of science.
The precise details of the order and course of instruction are not yet matured, since it has been thought wise and expedient to leave these to be settled upon the final organization of the institution. All that I desired now to say was, that the friends of this enterprise will be greatly disappointed, if the institution at Worcester, which we may hope to see in full operation in a few months, is not found to meet the very wants which are so fully described in the letters above published.
In a county as large and flourishing as that of Worcester, combining the several interests of agriculture, mechanics and manufactures, such an experiment can hardly fail to succeed. It is to be an intermediate school between the common and high schools of the State, and the college, wherein practical science, as well as general culture, can be pursued without employing the time which is often unprofitably spent in the study of the ancient languages in our colleges. It is an institution demanded by the wants and genius of such a community, and may be confidently regarded as the nucleus and element of a much broader school, where science may be taught and applied in a manner adequate to the growing demands of the country in its widening fields of industry, art and economical resources.
TEACHING THE FREEDMEN. [Our friend, Mr. Arthur Sumner, Master of the Morris Street Freedmen's School in Charleston, at a loss for something that should amuse his audience at his annual exhibition, composes the following dialogue to be enacted by his pupils, a very black youngster representing himself. It gives us a true specimen of plantation dialect, and a little bit of the comic side of a noble and philanthropic labor — a labor which our readers will not fail to be interested in, if they will contribute their dollar, and receive the
little Freedmen's Record from R. F. Walcutt, 8 Studio Building, Boston. The letters from our fellow-teachers at the South which it contains are often extremely interesting.]
Mr. CARDOZO, Principal of the Wentworth Street School.
(Mr. Sumner, sitting, solus. Enter, Janitor.) JAN. Mornin' sir. An ole woman out here, sir; fetch her chile to school. Mus' bring her in, sir ?
S. Yes, Scott, show her in. (Janitor retires, and comes back leading a woman and girl.)
WOMAN. (Making a plantation courtesey.) Good mornin' Maws' Sumpter. How you do dis mornin'?
S. Pretty well, I thank you; how is your health to-day ?
W. Tankful for life, mawsa; ony so-so. Me head hart me so bad.
S. Well, what can I do for you, to-day?
W. I come to ax you, sir, ef yer'll be so good, sir, as to take dis lee gal in yo school. He de ony one I got, sir; an' I want to gi um a little larnin' fo’ I dead. Here, stan' up, you gal, an' telly gen’lman howdy. (Girl drops a courtesey.)
S. How old is your child ?